The loveliness of my partner’s family; their overwhelming kindness, their genuine laughter, their simplistic way of life and their unforgettable hospitality makes it easy for me to face the craziness at the border each time I visit Morooco.
We had spent two days in Spain – Malaga. I slept most of the time there. Teaching really drains every muscle in your body and it is only when you stop teaching and take a holiday that your body goes – “Enough is enough; you need to sleep now!” The sleep itself isn’t normal – I literally felt as if I had closed my eyes for a second. When I woke 3 hours had passed! No dreaming, no moving, just nothing. That occurred several times over our stay in Spain. Once at the swimming pool – which took me over the “Do not remain in the sun time!” for my Irish skin. The next day my back was uncomfortable with the redness that was happy to smart there.
Again, I digress. Going back to the Moroccan/ Spanish border the five of us trundled our way to towards the Moroccan border. We brought less this year as I had left a lot of items in Morocco – two years ago. In doing so it felt easier and more manageable.
One Moroccan woman with more bags than I have ever seen before on someone’s back followed closely behind us. She was attacked by several men – grabbing her wears and leaving her with two bags. The shock of the incident was multiplied when a police car nearly ran her over. I stood in the middle of the road – shouting for someone to help her – only to be waved over to the office to get my passport stamped. Apparently, she walks that way every day with all her goods and had been told that she was no longer allowed to bring these items into Morocco.
That would have been good to know just before the incident. It took a while for my heart to start to beat at a normal rate after it occurred.
This always seems to be the case in Morocco. This is my third time coming to Morocco but reflecting back on my first visit it I can remember several things that I should have been told before the visit which would have made it slightly easier for me. To describe them all would be a novel, rather than a blog so I will settle with two.
One being that when I first was shown into the bathroom at my Partner’s parents’ house that there were several others in the house and one with a real toilet! You can imagine my horror as I looked down the hole of terror and the two white, ridged tiles where you place your feet in order to get into the perfect positon to go to the toilet. “Oh crap!” … a distasteful pun but it expresses how I felt at first glance. You can imagine my relieve when I discovered the normal toilet upstairs.
The second point would have been that Moroccan’s when entertaining never just have one course. When we were at my Partner’s sisters house – she had prepared a banquet. All the family were there and the first course arrived; couscous and chicken. I had never tasted anything like it and I enjoyed every mouthful. Suddenly, I realised that I was the only one eating!!! I looked around and everyone was staring at me. I looked at my partner and asked – “Why has everyone stopped eating?” He then proceeded to tell me that they had all been waiting for me so that the second course could be served. To add to my embarrassment the children in the kitchen were waiting for the first plate to go to them. They were all waiting patiently. The thought that I had been happily munching for at least 15 minutes after everyone else - was mortifying!!!
Once I arrived at the house I felt a calmness radiate throughout my body. I was looking forward to completely switching off and chilling in the sun. The familiar rooms and the breeze that circulates around Morocco made me smile and a contented feeling engulfed me. I arrived on the 6th July and we plan to stay until the 19th August. Maybe more blogs will come from my trip…only time will tell.