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Amal and the Monthly Visitor

June 22, 2014

After an amusing start to the day, I’ve had a wonderfully relaxing final day in Morocco.

I awoke to realize that the odds had caught up with me and I would need a quick trip to the pharmacy for feminine hygiene products. After needlessly carrying them with me on far longer trips in the past, I came to the brilliantly scientific conclusion that travel disrupts everything for me and I wouldn’t need them. While, its better this happened in Fez, then say, on the airplane or in the desert, I was not relishing  the shopping I’d have to do. The pharmacy was closed and I stopped in at what serves as a convenience store in the streets by the Medina, a store  front jammed with everything from candy to cleaning supplies to flip flops.  I could see what I was looking for in the corner, but pointing was useless because so much was crowded around it. “Tampax?” I asked, “kotex?” throwing out brand names. The teenager manning the store looked confused for a moment and then a light went on. “Always?” he said helpfully. “YES! Shokran!” He handed a package to me and we were done. It was actually quite easy.

After breakfast I spent a few hours traveling the median. I rejected the offer for a guide, and continued my strategy of following a path to its end and retracing my steps. When I got a bit more daring, I made a series of only right turns. making only left turns when I waned to head back. I’m sure I missed out on the full medina experience, but I got several hours of its narrow winding streets, filled with tourists and locals alike, stray cats, and donkeys; with stalls filled with meats and sweets; lamps and rugs; jewelry and shoes. Having reached my fill of souvenirs, I headed empty handed back to my riad – quite proud of my navigation skills. After a lunch of cous cous with chick peas and raisins (omg, yum), I have been relaxing on the roof terrace with a book and the symphony from the medina, occasionally joined by the call to prayer. It’s blissful.

I have loved my trip to Morocco. I really have. It has been filled with new experiences, sights, sounds, tastes, and smells. I have met people and learned perspectives that I’d only every read about. While their lives are so different, in the end, as always, we are all the same. THey love to their families and to have fun. And I loved them. As for my guides, its a bit you get what you pay for I think. I was great without guides, but when I got them I opted for less expensive complains, which I think, encouraged their staff to make their money in kickbacks from vendors.

Still – I wouldn’t trade one second of the experience. (I would have no broken bones and the donkey would still be with us, but other than that…) I will see you all tomorrow in New York.

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