Sunday, 20 September 2009

Rabat and Fes

It was only half an hour or so after eating a Big Mac meal from McDonald's in Marrakech train station that my stomach began to churn. We'd all got some for lunch just before getting on the train. Jacob was fine, I felt okay apart from passing liquid, but Kalli and especially Sally had a pretty rough time over the next day or two. Jacob later tempted fate in Fes, had a McDonald's and spent the next day paralysed.
It was immediately apparent that Rabat was a good deal more cosmopolitan than Marrakech; we saw young couples holding hands, joggers running and women in jeans.
Kalli sorted out church out on Sunday for us. It was held in the palacial home of a member family and also consisted of one other family and, for the day, us four. We were extremely grateful to be offered dinner, since all we had at home was yesterday's bread and lukewarm Laughing Cow.
Our visit to the beach was a lot of fun. We enjoyed trying to propel ourselves with the huge waves, but they started to carry us towards a pretty dangerous area of which we were unaware until one of the surfers told us to move back to where we were, by which time it was okay for Jacob, but too late for me, and as hard as I tried to get back I was actually moving nowhere and the surfer had to come back and lend me his bodyboard.
We'd only been in Fes about ten minutes and we'd already caused a massive fight between a load of taxi drivers and some bloke in sweat pants and a baseball cap who we later found out was actually a 'false guide and a thief'. The latter had offered us a hotel at a ridiculously unrealistic price and when he offered us transport from right under the noses of the taxi drivers, they made sure that he knew that they were very sad. For a video, visit
We said that we'd walk because our false guide said that it wasn't far, then he said that the girls were like Ethiopian women because they'd rather walk all the way there instead of spending a small amount on his 'taxi', so we asked again how far it was and he said it was just down the road. He had one of our suitcases as he'd offered to help with it, but we finally got rid of him when Kalli was less than impressed with his analysis of the situation: "We do this for you, for the womens, because the men, we are okay, but you know in the sun..." he touched his temple and Kalli kicked off, which was good because he took off.
Night time was much better. The false guides and thieves were replaced with friendly and helpful youths who happily directed us where we needed to go.

Le palais royal, Fes

Mohammed, Mohammed, Hamsa, Hamsa, and I forget the smallest one's name. It's a good laugh talking with the kids in Morocco, but if an adult sees them talking with tourists they tell them to leave us alone as if they're doing us a favour when it's actually one of our only opportunities for normal human interaction.

If you enjoy diahhroea and vomiting, why not visit this emblem of Western decadence?

The medina in Rabat was just as crowded but a lot less hassle than Marrakech

A pretty door at Kasbah des Oudaias, by the sea in Rabat

I don't think I'll be hanging one of these on my wall

The King's palace in Rabat. It was closed for the king's birthday. It was Kalli's birthday too, but the guard wasn't interested.

A graveyard through the fence. They put them by the sea because land by the sea is traditionally undesirable. This is changing now so poor people with property by the sea are sitting on a lot of money.

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