Day 7: At Home in Marrakech

I have a hard time drinking enough water when I’m in a place where I have to drink it from a purchased bottle. Every ounce of me rebels against it. The result? Headaches and dehydration.

Both Lor and I were puffy and swollen, the salty tapenade of green olives and anchovies probably was the culprit, along with Salut Maroc’s wonderful bread. We couldn’t get enough.

I was up between 4:30 and 6am, my usual strange wake cycle. I amuse myself with podcasts, meditation, and texting friends before falling asleep again. I was able to sleep until 9, a relief.

I went downstairs for breakfast and then we were off around 11 to meet Jo’s rug dealer. 

It was a rather grueling process. We followed him into a riad he had filled to the brim with rugs. We sat at the perimeter and sipped mint tea while he and his assistant laid every rug out one-by-one. Each time a rug hit the stack, the air stirred with hot wool dust.

It didn’t take long for me to hit complete decision fatigue but I couldn’t leave until every single rug was looked at, then the bargaining began.

Naturally I saw one I liked immediately, which put it on the bottom of the pile when it came to bargaining. In the end it was too much for me, I walked away.

I decided to brave the souk on my own, armed with my app and lots of daylight. 

Today marked a change in my feeling about the souk. Places started to look familiar, I recognized faces and shops, and was able to find my way around. I knew to go left out of the riad, down the dark and scary alley, left at the trash heap, pass the musician, my favorite leather place is on the right, turn left at the rug dealer that ripped me off, right through the vegetable market, and there is the basket market.

I left before anyone else and found a cash machine and, more importantly, cats.

I picked a corner restaurant where I could sit and keep an eye on the road, just incase someone I knew came by. As luck would have it, I found Lor, Shannon and Cherry who joined me for lunch. 

I found a falafel place

Lor and I spent about an hour with a lamp merchant, going over his stock and deciding which lamp was perfect for our respective homes. Then it was back to the riad and then dinner at The Nomad.

Jo said the food was magnificent and she wasn’t kidding.

We all enjoyed the most lovely meal. Meanwhile, I got to hear Lindsay’s story.

I wondered how a 22 year-old ended up on a tour with a majority of women were old enough to be her mother.

She lives in Darwin and is an electrician for the oil and gas industry. She works on a crew where she’s the only woman, and the youngest person. She has to fight for respect.

She started her career in trade school at 15 and has been working in her industry since she was 17. At 22 she is buying a home and travels the world. She lights the up the room wherever she goes and is a wonderful addition to our group.

I said her parents must be so proud of all she’s accomplished. I told her how proud I was of her, not that my opinion matters, but as a mother I would be so happy to see my children grow up to be so strong and independent, resourceful and smart, curious and courageous.

It was a beautiful meal of conversation and getting to know each other, and dessert was amazing.

I had a saffron date cake with salty caramel. It was the best thing ever.

Sideboob called out my raving by saying that’s a little much given our experiences in Vienna. 

True, but I want to live in a world where things can always be the best and everything has the potential to blow my mind, to infinity.

I didn’t spend nearly enough time on the roof of Riad Matham

We got back to the riad before dark and listened to the call to prayer from the roof. Some of the ladies sat under the canvas roof while it rained while I repaired to my suite to get some writing done.

Tomorrow we go to Kasbah Bab in the Atlas Mountains. It’s another overnight trip, the drive is shorter though. I look forward to seeing what Jo has dreamt up for us.

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