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20 December 2012

time travel - farewell, morocco

*are you sick of these stories yet? me too! this is the last one for now, i promise!*

up early for the last time this holiday. we decided against breakfast, settling only for tea and a sneaky croissant, before meeting the rest of our group in the lounge for our complimentary 'day trip of the city of marrakech'. thankfully we had packed the night before, and been given the all clear by reception to check out once we got back from the tour. we boarded one of two coaches, and off we went. this tour guide was a woman, and her broken english was so so so so bad, it was really hard to understand what she was saying, let alone keep interested in her spiel.

the first stop was supposedly a 'beautiful garden'. uhhm. the only thing we saw in there were olive trees and stray animals. lots of stray animals. rebekah adores animals - who doesn't? but really. she stops to play, touch, and take pictures of every single animal she meets. so, when we arrived in this 'garden' and were met by a litter of stray puppies, well.. who knows what that tour guide was talking about, we were playing with the pups! i think we almost bought one, what with the extraordinary tip bex gave the guy who ran the stall near them, just for taking pictures of them. i doubt they were even his dogs... hah! the group had walked a fair way off, so we followed along, basking in the warm sun, taking pictures as we went.

we found ourselves at a massive, dirty pond which we could see these disgusting fish bobbing their heads in and out of. carp, so we were told by the tramp trying to sell us 'i love marrakech' tee shirts. lovely! the view from the pond was really gorgeous, which was just as well because otherwise... take me back to the puppies please! the rest of the group were listening intently to some...thing, so we took ourselves back to play with the puppies, and had way more fun.

next we got back on the bus, and headed into the markets. again. this time, apparently for a 'very important explanation' at the biggest pharmacy in marrakech. a big ol' expensive explanation more like. yes... well, we were herded through the souks by the poorly spoken english lady guide person, to the biggest pharmacy in the medina. bex and i spent too long taking pictures and avoiding getting run over by donkeys and motorcycles and teenage boys, and before we knew it we were being 'shooed' into a back room in the pharmacy. we sat in the room for the next hour, for the 'important explanation' that just turned out to be a sales pitch. not a very good one either, and the guy could barely keep control of the 30 strong english tourits chatting and clucking over his explanation, having to resort to banging metal things on the counter top to capture our attention repeating the words "hello england!" over and over again... i got roped into a demonstration of massage oil... didn't complain at my 5 minute massage for less than a quid though, but did feel compelled to buy some stuff i didn't necessarily need... some spices for my rack, some anti-snore sniffy stuff for boyfriend and some essential oil for boyfriend to give me neck rubs to make up for snoring. so we didn't do too badly outta that con ride...

we had to wait an eternity to get outta there. we were standing around the outside of the medina while people from the tour exchanged money, or haggled for genuine immatation watches on the side of the road of a geeza with a briefcase. it was really about half an hour but felt like an age. we were tired, bored, and cranky, and it was only midday. finally we headed back to the hotel to check out - where some furious words were exchanged between us (and other ladies on our tour) and the reception team who seemed to have forgotten that they had agreed not 4 hours earlier that we could all check out when we got back. we bascially then spent the rest of the time lounging in the sun, reading and raping the wifi and electricity until our bus came to take us to the most boring airport in the world 2 hours too early for our flight. by that point though, we were so so so tired and ready to get going on home.

try as we might, we could not get rid of all the fake money - not even in the airport, and we still came home with about £1.20 which was basically the equivalent of a mortgage deposit in marrakech (i keeeeeed). as we boarded the flight and got ourselves in comfortably, thinking how almost...empty the plane seemed, we noticed the whole row next to us was empty. stoked! one of us would move, then we could put legs up and be right comfy for the flight. people were thinning out and we could tell the attendants were getting ready for take off, when we saw our fate walk through the front doors.... the marrockneys were back!

not only were they back, they were sat right next to us! and when i say 'right next to us', i literally mean, the entire row to my right, as well as the spare seat in our row. there was no escaping them. i could feel the colour drain from my face, and my face go red hot at the same time. they instantly recognised us, and started to try and make chit chat. rebekah and i were mumbling a lot under our breath, and the one next to me turned to me and started to say something.. i lost my shit. i turned to him and said as calm as a pond "please do not talk to me, we have nothing in common" to which he replied "alright, calm down, i was just being polite". "polite?" i said "well why start now? i am perfectly calm, please do not talk to me" and put my headphones in. 

i overreacted, yes. i was tired and exhausted, and i did not want a repeat of that first night. well. the flight home could not have been more different. they barely said a peep to each other. after a while i took my headphones out and started to read. as the drinks came around, the one on my right turned to us - a brave move, and said "i really am sorry about the way we behaved last week, can i buy you guys a drink to say sorry?".. uuuhhhhm, this was new. we shook our heads and said no no, it's fine, seeing you get arrested was a good enough apology for us - they loved this. "arrested?" they cried, "we weren't arrested! they basically gave us the key to the city when they realised we were tourists!" so... good. i'll have that drink now. they were actually (mostly) really nice guys - spoiled rich boys from reading, who had too much fun and barely saw the light of day. it's fair to say that their time and our time couldn't have been less similar. save for, as it turns out, the exact same flights. my facebook status that night said it all really: "humble pie is humble and best shared with pakistani's from reading."

we arrived so late. our shuttle was at 1am or something nutty. we got to bex's after 2am. thankfully we both had the next day off. we needed it. we crashed that night, with so many stories from the last 4 nights being relived in our dreams. 

it was a fantastic holiday, despite all the crazy. and i was really lucky to have gone away and had a ball with my best friend.