Thursday, January 8, 2009

From Misery to Morocco

A beautiful sunrise on the ferry home from Ireland-Chip sleeping off the virus, missed it

We got back from Ireland and it's been misery. No more kitchen at our little Oxford house, the nation is in a deep freeze and all our Wisconsin clothes are in Wisconsin, and then the killer stomach virus that knocked us all off one by one. How Olivia made it to the top of Blarney Castle and kissed the Blarney Stone, I will never understand. A stomach virus will take a blogger out! Ally and I got it simultaneously, and all I can say is Wednesday was a "non-day" for us. We don't recognize it because we didn't have it.

All our kitchen just sitting on the dining room floor

The new kitchen as yet in boxes

I finally recovered this morning and it was off to Gatwick, a little flight on Atlas Blue flying for Royal Air Maroc and here we are, Marrakech. Do your worst, chicken tajine....I survived Finbar's revenge, and you are no match!

Our Riad is amazing. Riads are extravagant houses, often run by foreigners catering to tourists, that have few rooms and many luxuries and antiquities--not a great place for toddlers. We were greeted by Michelle, our host, who gave us a personal map tour of the city while we were served mint tea and dates stuffed with walnuts. Well, allright, now that's what we're talking about...

We walked through the Jemaa-el-Fna at night through winding alleys and streets, and it isn't an exaggeration to say it's frightening to be in a part of the world that does not resemble anything I know. There isn't a Western thing about this whole experience and that just makes it thrilling for me. Allison is completely panicked (our burgeoning worrier--she's yet an amateur but under my tutelage, she'll grow up a fine worrier indeed) about the food, the beggars, the night. As we sat eating dinner, they turned off the music in the restaurant as the last call for worship went out over the loudspeakers (the muezzin, Olivia tells me) in the city.

So much I don't know. Cous cous! I know that, so I ate it.

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