Good to be back in Morocco
I fell, heavily, down the familiar tripping road of not-journaling on the Africa trip, and trying to remember something offhand before my wee netbook battery expires is fairly daunting…but I can remember last night…
We started the day in my lovely and familiar hostel in the Tirso de Molina neighborhood, clean sheets, warm water, air conditioning. We toted our inexplicably large bags (we each only have a change of clothes or two yet look like the backpacker equivalents of Imelda Marcos) down to the train station, train to Algeciras, ferry to Tangier, bus from inexplicably far-outside-of-town new port in to Tangier itself, and were finally in Morocco. I love Morocco.
But I am out of practice at Morocco. I am a tad embarrassed to admit I was unable to drive off one of the hustler dudes at the bus station, partially because he kept anticipating where we were going and stayed in front of us, and ended up at a pension he recommended. He just seemed so earnest, and had some inscrutable degree of physical infirmity.
The unfriendly fellow who ran the pension assured me that it was bed bug free, so we paid him, dropped our bags, and ran to get food. After a sub-par tajine, we got back and I examined the bed more closely and saw the massive herds of little red bed bugs swarming across the sheets like wildebeest on the Serengeti, only repulsive.
So it was back downstairs where I got in a lovely authentic Moroccan shouting match with the pension owner, demanding our money back. He gave an impressive diatribe in Arabic (which I am 60% glad I did not understand) while getting our money, flung it at me, then slammed the door on our heels. We checked one more promising looking but bug ridden pension, then hoofed it down to the station and caught the last buss out of Tangier.
We came to Chefchaouen, a city known equally for its amazing blue walls and ridiculous number of vowels. Luckily for us Chaouen is one of the most amazing places on Earth, so our good spirits were quickly revived. Although to be honest, fleeing Tangier was kind of fun, checking over our shoulders to see if he had set the bed bug mafia on our tail. And our hustler guy was down at the bus station when we got there, but when he saw us he spun around and literally ran away, across 2-3 lanes (who can tell, here?) of traffic. Apparently his presumed physical impairment does not preclude running away from vengeful tourist marks.
So we are in what I am reasonably sure is the single most beautiful man-made place on Earth, had a great day, a great dinner, and are going to go walk around in the great late-night groove. Heading to Fez tomorrow.