Headache again. Farting like fury all night. Went into town for breakfast where we found ‘Patisserie Magon’ and bought bread, croissant and a sticky each. The French colonial influence is still strong in Morocco. Went back to the pharmacy from the evening before to pick up the air mail paper I had left there!
Bought eggs from the market and was going up some steps out of the place when the young lad who had guided us to the pension shouted “Hello!”. He was smiling and waving. He was preparing chickens in a shop. We had breakfast in the pension. The rest of the morning was spent writing letters, journals and napping. My headache was still lingering and my stomach was bubbling still.
After lunch, we finished off our writing, slept and then went out into the town to take a few pictures of the strikingly ancient town and its surroundings we were in. We walked up the hill to the rear of the town to near where some children were playing in the rocks and lighting small bonfires.
The sun was going down over the mountains to the west of us. It was a beautiful sight. There was noise coming from the town below but not the noise of cars and mopeds, nor was there any loud music, unlike some of the towns and cities in which we had stayed in Spain; just people and animal noises. It was amazing.
Dan and I went back down in search of some vegetables to make a curry in our room. While buying them the Moroccan wearing the pork pie hat from the day we had arrived (Abdul Eli was his name) came and said hello to us, and promptly invited us back to his house for some tea.
We walked back with him, unsuspectingly, to his house to be greeted by his wife and children. Dan and I entered after having seen his garden during which he said “It’s untidy. I don’t have time to do it!”, which is funny because I say the same now twenty years later!
We sat in a small, dimly lit room. Abdul put on the TV and England happened to be playing the All Blacks. His wife made tea, under his orders, while he talked to us. She was Berber and spoke little Arabic. He was an Arab and spoke Berber, he said. Originally, he came from Fez but moved to ‘Chaouen’, as he called it, eight years before. He showed us pictures of his family. We talked about our trip (for a change) and where Abdul had been. It turned out that he had been in Luxembourg and Paris. He said the Parisians were very arrogant.
And then, at last, up came the real reason for us being there. Abdul started talking about carpets. He invited us back the next day to eat couscous with them and to be followed by going to see where his father-in-law made carpets.
We accepted with a lump in our throats. When Dan had been in Morocco previously on his motorbike, he had been virtually locked in a room in Marrakech until he had purchased carpet! As we were now finding, Morocco was a ‘sales war zone’. Everyone is trying to sell you something or change money with you, whether that was a small kid or adult.
The two of us left after seeing pictures of the King of Morocco, bless his soul, in New York on the national news programme. Abdul showed us the way back to the pension. In the pension were two Germans who seemed to be bargaining for hash. We went to our room, cooked up our vegetable curry and hit the sack.
Will Hawkins lives in Lincolnshire with his family, works in a technology company in London and does as many micro-adventures as he can.
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