March 3, 2011
Morocco – Day 5
Fes and some city whose name I have no idea
I need to preface this saying that of all of the days we’ve had here today has been the most mediocre, with a few noteworthy exceptions. I also should warn you that I am going to talk about toilets. A lot (it runs in my family, so I’ve learned).
This morning started yet again at 9:00AM. Aziz was right there in the lobby waiting for us. Since we stayed at the same hotel we did yesterday, there wasn’t anything new to the breakfast. We checked out, loaded our bags into the car and headed off to go see the pottery place.
Now I love traveling with my dad and JoAnn, honestly. The have allowed me to go to places and have experiences I never could have had without them. I know that I reap a lot of benefits from how hard they work. But there are some costs to them. Like I said yesterday, we had spent most of the day shopping. Now this wasn’t boutique to bazaar boutique shopping, you know at the places where I could pray to be able to afford something. Instead we went to that rug store, and the antique jewlry store
(I forgot to mention something about that.This is a tangent from what my previous thought was but I HAVE to write it down. At the antique store, Dad was sitting with Miriam, but I was over with JoAnn when we were getting ready to go. I had to make sure the ring I was getting would fit. It did and looks awesome. But I already described that. What I forgot to mention yesterday was the reason why the antique salesman gave us a pretty good deal. He kept saying that JoAnn was a holy woman, twice holy. The first time was because she brought her mother with her to this place. The second reason was a bit subtler to JoAnn and I don’t believe she ever figured out. When describing his second reason, he simply pointed to JoAnn – more importantly to her lower abdomen – and said “this is a very good time.” I’m about ninety-nine percent sure he thought she was preggers.)
Anyway, we spent a lot of the day yesterday not really seeing sites but sitting in places where I had no chance of affording this place. Luckily, both Dad and JoAnn claimed to be done with shopping. Then we get to the pottery place. The tour was fantastic, describing how they made the pottery, where the clay comes from, how they fire it. We saw a man make a tajine in front of us, using nothing more than a foot powered potters wheel, a lump of grey clay and his hands. We saw artisans painting unfired pots with incredible delicacy and detail. We even saw the tile workers making the exact shapes for the mosaics. It was truly astounding. And in true Moroccan fashion, we ended the tour at the pottery shop. I have to say, I didn’t hold my breath that we were going to get out of there without something. But JoAnn did a great job. I think she only got one thing!
After that, we were off to get me a Jalaba! I think I’ve mentioned what they are before. Basically they look like wizards robe, with a very pointy hood. I needed one. I not only wanted to blend in here in Morocco, but I figured it would make for a decent IV Party costume. In addition to my Jalaba (which is a stunning black catus silk and gold cashmere stripped number) we all decided we wanted to get Fes’. Dad, JoAnn, I and Nick and Jennifer, though they don’t know it yet, are all the proud owners of Fes’ from Fes. I can check that off my bucket list.
While I was trying on my Jalaba and Fes, I think Aziz went up to the tannery to see if my jacket we had custom made for me is ready. We had to wait a while in the shop because they had to scour all of Morocco to find a Fes large enough to fit over my father’s enormous bucket sized head. It was ample time for him to retrieve it for me. I would have happily gone up and gotten it myself, but I didn’t know Aziz had even left. Just as a side note, I am thrilled with my jacket. If I may say so, the combo of the Fes and the leather makes for one stunning looking young man. Forget about it, if I put my sunglasses on.
Jalaba and Fes on, we were off to the car to go to the town that I have no idea the name. But, we did make a few pit stops. The first was in a small town, where King Hasan II and the King of Saudi Arabia had built a private business university together. They focus on mainly international business. In that little town, we decided we wanted to get some snacks, since we were still two hours away from lunch. We headed to a bakery and got some croissants and cookies.
After taking pictures in front of the huge stone lion, we hopped back into the car to go touch some Berber Apes. I was super excited. I was able to feed monkeys peanuts straight from my hand. The little babies were the cutest and had no problem coming up to me if I had food. They were a bit skittish if I was empty handed. It was funny though, one of the monkeys thought my ring was something so every time I stuck out my had, it was like he was giving me a high five.
That ends the notable portion of my day. The rest of the time was spent sitting in the car driving to no name town. We stopped for lunch, and that is where I learned about my family’s favorite topic of conversation.
Bathrooms around the world are very different. French ones have the toilet separated from the rest of the washroom. In morocco, some times they don’t even have a toilet. There could literally be two raised footprints and a hole you squat over. You’re lucky if the guy gives you toilet paper before you go in.
At lunch today, Miriam had to use the restroom. God love her, sometimes I have no idea why she is laughing at some stuff. She came out of the restroom all giggling and I didn’t think I wanted to pry to far into the cause. Then JoAnn needs to use the restroom. Now as I said, you’re lucky if they provide toilet paper, so JoAnn came prepared. Little did Miriam know that JoAnn had some tissues in her pocket. In her effort to help JoAnn, from across the room Miriam holds up the toilet paper and says, “here Jo! You forgot the toilet paper.” It’s kind of hard to subtly say that you have tissues in your pocket, especially when the room is looking at you.
Now the reason I can recount that story so well, despite having been on the patio while it was happening is because my family cannot make it through a meal without talking about some kind of bodily orifice or what may come out of it. Thankfully she was finished when I met them for dinner last night, but JoAnn recounted her semi-traumatic hammam experience from the night before. From what I gathered it was a lot more invasive than she originally thought. Dad also felt the need to tell me that he felt like he was being punched from the inside and that his pepto pills didn’t seem to be helping. All information I could do withouth.
That brings me to tonight. Literally two minutes before I started writing this post, I used the restroom. Now our hotel isn’t nearly as nice as the previous ones, but I couldn’t help but laugh when the toilet paper roll holder broke when I was reaching for some.
Let’s hope that tomorrow and Marrakesh bring a bit more lively topics of conversation!