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Showing posts from October, 2010

Like the Hat

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Fes was our first foray into a large Moroccan city and it didn't disappoint.  We stopped first at a pottery where we saw them throwing Tagines (the dish of the national dish) and more importantly (or dear to my heart) they were making the most beautiful mosaic tables I'd seen.  The work was so labor intensive and amazing I could have stayed all day watching them make them.
After a couple of other stops at an overlook and the royal palace, we headed into the Medina (or old part of town) where an enormous variety of goods, meats, and materials can be purchased.  Fes was founded in 789 and still boasts the oldest functioning university, located right in the city center.  We were led through the souks (market stalls) in the medina as there are thousands of roads in this area that are largely unmarked and very narrow. It was a feast for the eyes, ears, and nose to wander through the medina here.  We saw many, many merchants selling textiles, leather, meat, food, fresh fruit and veg,…

Far from Home

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From the moment I stepped off of the ferry in Morocco, I felt conspicuous, confused, lost, and nervous for the first time in my travels.  I had to walk about a half a mile to my meeting point and I spent most of the time getting there refusing help from a great number of local 'tour guides' who could offer me...well, anything I wanted really.  Especially a hotel room, a personal tour, or the location of the nearest cash point.  One guy followed me to the nearest ATM, pointed it out to me and said "Don't you want to get some money out?"  Haha, really, does that work on people?  Another guy literally ran after me to ask if I needed somewhere to stay.  There are only so many times I can politely refuse things.  But Morocco has a way of testing that type of patience and I was just getting my first taste of it.  Happily, I found the meeting point, clamored into an 80's Mercedes taxi, and, clutching my backpack and hoped fervently that it would take me to the right…

So,

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I should probably start blogging again. Sorry It's been a while with narry a mention of Morocco details, what I'm up to now, or general belly-aching about how things are weird and different and my complete loss of the ability to make long term life decisions.

What I have done is get rehired at work, woot! I start back on Monday and I am looking forward to being a semi productive member of society again. Secretly, I'm a little nervous and not totally looking forward to feeling like a stupid noob again. But I doubt it will last past the first shakey-handed IV start. Like riding a bike...I hope.
Oh, and speaking of that, I took the bike out on ten miles of our old route and it was awesome! I was reminded just how crap my crap bike was. The kayaks got a work out today too, which was amazing. It took me a few minutes to remember how I got it on my roof, but after that it was all good. The weather has been unusually cooperative, and I am hoping to squeeze as many autu…

A little bit of both

It is difficult to describe the feelings of joy, excitement, sadness, and utter weirdness I have felt over the last week. I finally arrived back in London after a tiring couple of days traveling and living like a hobo.  I felt such comfort and contentedness when I arrived, and I headed to my friends house, reunited with my suitcases, and overjoyed to stretch out on a proper bed.
The next day, I absorbed my Morocco souvenirs into my suitcases, barely keeping them under the allotted 23kgs. 10 lbs of chocolate seriously doesn't help. And all of it is to give away.  Most of it. Some of it.  A few pieces.
I spent part of the afternoon checking up on my favorites in the National Gallery.  Then I met my cousin which was super weird as we usually only meet once a year at Christmas.  But it was really awesome to catch up and exchange our love of all things British.  It felt as though it had been far longer than a month since I left Coventry as I met a couple of cov peeps and  headed out fo…

The little things

I am back in Spain, fresh(ish) from a fortnight in Morocco, a little more tan, a little more blonde, and a lot wiser on all things Moroccan.  More details will undoubtedly be spilled here in coming weeks, once I am more organized. But for now I can tell you how much Morocco made me appreciate little things.  Little things like modern plumbing, toilet paper, soap, and quite simply, toilets.  Any combination of these (or all) were conspicuous in thier non existance throughout our stay, which sometimes made that rather mundane aspect of life amusing and adventurous. 

Additionally, I never fully appreciated going into a shop, being left alone, browsing in peace, and having clear prices.  Like bathroom essentials, all of these shopping elements were conspicuous in thier non existance.  I have never been so popular in my life, being constantly bothered to buy things in Morocco.  "Just have a look", "to look is free", "no price is fixed", "what's your …