3rd row from the back of the bus. A Supr@tours from Essaouira to Marrakesh. Rambunctious German kids who didn’t pee before they got on the bus squirm and whine in an annoying mix of German and French. We roll out of town. Moroccan cities are bigger than they seem from the interesting sections. They sprawl a ways with dilapidated old, and shoddily constructed new buildings. Decay is something that begins when things are young.
Getting a live chicken makes a lot of sense. It’s a sack lunch you don’t have to carry.
We get to Marrakesh, hop a Petite taxi to the Medina. This is by far the most hectic Taxi Ride of the trip. He’s zooming, and turning and talking and dialing the phone. Pedestrians, and bikes and scooters are everywhere. There are horse carts and donkeys and push carts and gendarme standing in the road. By the time he drops us off at Rue de Bab Agnaou I have gotten the feeling that the bus station was very close to the medina and we just went on a Morrocan buggy ride. We walk into the tight Medina street looking for Hotel Chellah. Got hassled a little, but it wasn’t that bad.
Can’t figure out if Marrakesh means Ripoff, or “here’s a snake try not to piss yourself!” Our first excursion from the hotel we walked out across the expanse of Djemaa el-fna to take it all in. It was late in the day, and we were tired and cranky from the buss ride.
We walk out to get some orange juice and I’m looking and pointing at three men in robes with some pretty janky looking snakes and wicker baskets. Then I look up and there’s a dude in a pale jelabi coming at me with a snake. They let you hold the snake, or the monkey or whatever, in exchange for a tip. I put my hand out and said NO. He kept coming. Danielle distracted me cause she wanted to hold it, and the bastard took the opportunity to slip the snake over my head. He was lowering it down onto my neck, I uttered some unholy words, pushed him in the chest and swatted the snake, which felt loose, weak and waxy, out of my personal space. He didn’t get a tip.
The next day we wanderd out for a late breakfast @ Cafe Argana in Djemaa el-fna. It was kind of expensive and small, but good enough. It’s hard to find a decent breakfast in Morocco. At least by American standards.
We stop at one of the dozen or so juice carts scattered around the square. Orange juice, fresh squeezed and cold, is only 3 Dirham, about $0.20. They also have pamplemousse. I had one of those. It tasted a lot like grapefruit, but I let him call it that. From there we went to look for spices…