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Yet once again, in yet another strange city, I have managed to undertake a relatively straightforward operation (go to dinner in a square I visited earlier in the day) and turn it into a trip to Parts Of Town What I Should Not Visit On My Own. When I mentioned to Lawrence where I'd gone and how swiftly the catcalls had gotten ugly, his eyes got enormous.

I mean, a week in Morocco and a full day wandering the souks - I'm used to a little hassle. I'm used to every third car or bike honking at me. I'm used to the "hey pretty lady" and "bonsoir" from what feels like three out of every four men (or little boys as the case may be) I pass or who passes me. I'm used to a polite smile and walking with purpose or just ignoring and walking (faster) with purpose as the situation calls for.

What I'm not used to is for every other catcall to turn into "fat whore" or "ugly slut" or other things that really don't bear repeating. I kept walking further and further, and things got less and less comfortable (though nothing actually physically threatening, and how sad is it that nothing short of 'physically threatening' is something to take especial notice of?), and I checked my map behind a truck so no one could see me not sure of where I was, and eventually I asked two policemen to confirm that I was still headed in the right direction (Time Out Guides maps = not exactly to scale, can I just say). The directions were straightforward enough: right out of the hotel down the main road, then right when that road deadends. Simple, right? (No.)

When I got to the square, I still couldn't find the entrance (signs, people. they help.), but as luck would have it, the lamp guy I had talked to earlier in the day was still there, and he herded me away from some of the more aggressive "helpers" straight to the restaurant door. It was gorgeous inside, and I had the strangest assortment of food (samosas shaped like spring rolls, actually really good sushi - fresh and tightly rolled, and chocolate fondue) that was nevertheless delicious. When it was time to head back, Lamp Guy flagged me down a taxi, for which I was egregiously overcharged (almost seven dollars!), but it was worth every penny in the end.

My hotel is tucked away at the end of an alley, and it is blissfully quiet and well-lit. I used my key to get in, but Lawrence was headed down for a smoke, so we chatted for a bit. He and Peter (brothers or "brothers"? hard to tell in Morocco, where many things are illegal) have been in Marrakech for fifteen years, and before that, Lawrence lived in Thailand for eight years. I also learned all about his rabies treatment after a dog bit him in Bangkok (Lawrence's doctor friend - "oh, it bit you below the knee? well, you have at least two days before you have to worry about your brain getting infected!"), some of the artifacts they've decorated the house with, etc. It seems that there's a little something with some sort of history from either Asia or Morocco tucked in every nook and cranny of this house.

There was chatting and discussion of breakfast ("we'll serve until at least eleven-thirty; don't hurry out of bed on our account!"), and Lawrence declared me "faaaabulous," and now I'm back at the computer, contemplating a shower and how exactly I'm going to get the pair of sneakers I wore today back home. They really, really smell like the tanneries.

on 2009-11-16 06:34 pm (UTC)
afrikate: Ray Kowalski is getting his geek on, with his clip on shades flipped up (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] afrikate
Yay for you being ok! And very brave of you making it to the restaurant. Yay!

Also, you can go a couple weeks if you get bit below the leg before getting your rabies shot. Not an excellent idea, but you'll live. :)

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