Friday, August 10, 2012

My Moroccan Adventure

Hey all,'s been a while...had to deactivate the blog for a bit and clean it up (for reasons), which resulted in some abandonment out of sheer laziness and a desire to complete my degree. But now I'm back, and as you can probably guess, I'm currently in Morocco. A lot has happened in the year since my last public post, but for now, I'll just keep you updated on my Moroccan adventure! :)

This was kind of an on the spur of the moment thing for me, having never considered Morocco before as a holiday destination, but since it will probably be the last big trip I'll get to go on unless I end up employed (AHAHAHA), I figured it'd be good to get out of my comfort zone. That was the rationale until the day of the trip, when I decided that I was probably going to die from heatstroke and stress over whether the department was going to burn down and take my belongings with it...since I've dumped like a quarter of my inventory there on account of college being anal and not letting me leave stuff in my room for free even though no one has booked my room for the time in which I am away...

Anyway, going back to the trip. We started off with nine people, but a few days ago, two dropped out, and then, get this, #3 decided to drop out, just as our plane was about to take off! Now Ryanair is the only plane that I've flown with where the passengers applaud a successful landing, which kinda says a lot about the airline, and is probably a valid reason for adventurer #3 to bail out, but to be without my COSMO buddy... :(

The rest of us continued onwards, minus one COSMO magazine plus an hour of delays on account of the owner of the COSMO magazine, and eventually arrived at Fes to an intense, dry heat, with still half an hour to go until sunset... Before we set off, I'd been dreading the heat, and upon landing, it felt like I'd been struck by a wall of hot air. The temperature change was so sudden, and within minutes, I knew that I was probably going to die. After my body decided it didn't want to do that, it went into self preservation mode and initiated some rapid cooldown mechanisms, allowing me to awe of the alien landscape, the waves of visible air rising upwards, and just how different the buildings were in comparison to the Western world.

Wary of potential scammers, we tentatively accepted a taxi ride for 150 DH that took us to the Riad Verus, "the best hostel in Africa"! Having not been anywhere else yet, we could hardly contest that claim. But with a website that has a youtube video showing you how to get to the hotel, this place must be pretty high up on the list of best hostels in Africa.

Nevertheless, the decor here is pretty fantastic, and very importantly, they have air con! They also provide free breakfast, and food/water which you can purchase on an ad hoc and hyper-inflated basis. Now, if you are thinking of going here, I can tell you that for payment, they accept Paypal and bank transfers, so you can save your Dirham and avoid racking up withdrawal charges. They also have a place where you can do laundry, either by machines or handwashing, and they have free Wireless too, for all of your Facebook needs.

We spent some time hanging out on the roof under a canopy of stars, eating Big Matt's bread and catching up, as it got darker and darker. Keen to explore, we also went for a walk to check out the Medina before lockdown - what I found really odd was that there were so many many men out in large groups, no women present - all the women were in their own groups with the kids. It was disconcerting, especially since they all stare at you like you have two heads, but since we had two very big guys with us, it was fine. We found a fairground, and lots of lots of food stalls but I resisted the urge to pick up anything, and eventually came back to hang out with the other travellers before bed.

Day 0.5 survived! :)


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