It is really different when you arrive in a place with the intention of setting up a life instead of staying for a few weeks. Getting here was really uneventful. Got to the airport in a snow storm, spent all my time checking my luggage through to RAK and therefore kissed my Nexus card (AGAIN) for helping me skip the security line. Walked right on to my flight (cut it close). Fly to London, speak to no one. Go to the hotel, sleep sleep shower, back to the airport, fly to Geneva, go inside the airport for 40 minutes, get back on the plane, lose an hour between London and Geneva and have total strangers talk to me like I’m two about time zones, fly to Marrakech. Collect luggage. Out. Had the pleasure of a familiar face to collect me which was nice. It’s 24C and sunny for miles. Lovely day. Almost died 12 or 13 times on the way from the airport. There was a lady knocked off her scooter in the middle of an intersection. My drivers response was to tap his horn and move along the person in front of us. Ha.
So here is what I have done today on my first day in Marrakech, aside from the above noted.
I checked in and unpacked. And by unpack I mean, I opened my bags only to realize that I packed a whole bunch of stuff that I will need while here, but did not remotely organize myself for a hotel stay. There is crap everywhere and I don’t think I will get it all back in my bags when move time comes.
I turned on the TV. BBC World News it is. What else is there really?
I ran into a friendly face at check in and then had the pleasure of the hotel bartender coming over to say hello because he remembered me and wanted to welcome me back. Why am I always remembered by the bar keeps? Really. Why?
I went to the INWI store up the street and around the corner. Got me an African phone number. Set it up. Texted some people. Played peekaboo with an adorable 2 year old girl.
I went to the local and got a bottle of water. Mandatory purchase. I walked around a little bit and ended up at the nearby Starbucks where I sat quietly and ate a sandwich. (I’m not ready for Moroccan food yet. Need to sleep first). Did some people watching. Caught up with Sandra, Patricia, Laura, and a few others. Talked to Carolyn on the phone (Internet phone). Now she knows what it’s been like for me the last two months trying to communicate with Moroccan Internet phones. MAN. (I WILL bring a solid connection to this country). I checked my Facebook page and found one post had 91 likes! Do I even know 91 people? What the hell? I moved to Marrakech people, I didn’t cure cancer. Settle down!
Then I decided since I was out I might as own this shit and I went to the Carrefour – which is the grocery store. Bought two apples, some almonds, some almond cookies, moisturizer, toothpaste and a scratchy shower thingy (cause Moroccans love scratchy shower things) and it cost me $22 which is not bad but also partly awful because of the exchange rate. I walked directly into the sun one time. I mean directly. I copped a “not taking your crap” attitude three times, did not get lost once, and went into a local decor store that I was disappointed I didn’t go into last time. Must start shopping again….! Now that I have nothing left.
Tonight I will try to stay up as long as possible. Tomorrow I am going to meet a friend and see if I can’t get me a hairdryer and straightening iron. Look around a little. Take lots of walks in the neighbourhood to get acquainted. Maybe, but only MAYBE look into opening a foreigners bank account. Although I might wait till next week. I think I need an interpreter for that task. Aside from that my plans are simply to get over the jet lag, get familiar with the neighbourhood and wait for a friend to come in from out of town in a day or two. Then I will star the apartment search in earnest and see what I find. I’m really excited about finding a place of my own. But nervous at the same time. There is a certain degree of safety in being in a hotel with help just a call away. But that could just be the jetlag speaking.
And by speaking I really mean “mumbling incoherently and needing some sleep”.