Boy, time sure flies when you're going to the bathroom every 15 minutes! Week 6 is over and sure was a doozy. Morocco is growing on me but my stomach continues to refuse to let it happen. The week brought birthdays, bathrooms, and me paying for a woman to aggressively scrub my naked body. Without further ado, this week I:
- went to Fes! Fes is the second largest city in Morocco and is apparently called the "Athens of Africa". A group of 8 of us took a three hour train ride and stayed in a pretty killer riad. The medina is the largest and oldest, complete with over 350 mosques and over 9000 streets. IT'S A GIANT MAZE. Everyone says to just "get lost" and "explore" which is all peaches and cream until the sun starts to go down and a little boy promises to lead you to the exit but instead leads you to what appears to be a murder-y looking dead end. Good, clean, fun, this place!
- was reminded of the unrealistic Moroccan standards. FOR SHAME. These mannequins aren't helping any woman's self-esteem.
- saw even more bizarre advertising. The English language is used pretty uniquely here. Cotton Klein should be a new brand all its own. Also, would anyone follow this creepy bear?
- more weird food. I should just start a separate weird food blog.
- Visited a tannery and bought a purse and a wallet and now regret buying said purse and wallet. They smell like rotting meat. But my nose was so used to it while we were there that I thought nothing of it at the time. Now I'm essentially carrying a dead camel around 24/7. Oh well.
- watched a man make tapestries and thought about how long it took for Aladdin to ride that damn carpet. It takes a week just to make one. This place had SEVERAL.
- had three home cooked meals from a fairy princess in our riad. This woman came in and made the most incredible beef and pear dish I nearly cried. Sadly, no pictures were taken. One dinner and two breakfasts from her were MaGiCaL.
- stayed in both nights and played card games with our group. It was the highlight of the trip and our group was so awesome. I love going on side trips with different people and getting to know everyone better. We've got some really special people!
- saw the royal palace so naturally I practiced my ninja skills.
- ended the trip with an awesome sunset, another breakfast (BREAD!) and a long train ride home.
- Threw a little birthday party for one of my trip besties, Stacy! I made tacos and it was a warm welcome from tajine. (It's good, but I can only take so many roasted chickens.)
- got really sick. There were about three days that I just chilled on the toilet. Nbd. In between I watched the UK show Skins on Netflix and it was all good. This Moroccan diet is workin' out!
- got pampered AF. There's a Thai massage place here that does traditional hammam, along with Thai massage and facials and a sauna and all for the price of 450 Dirham (FORTY FIVE USD AND IT'S THREE HOURS LONG, GUYS, I HAD TO DO IT.) Hammam is a traditional bath where women typically go once a week to "cleanse themselves". It involves sitting in a sauna and then having a woman scrub you with this salt stuff while you're nakie. This was...an experience. It felt amazing, but I imagined myself starring in the music video Put It On Me, where Ja-Rule (an Asian woman) literally puts it on me (salt scrub).
Details of my Hammam Experience:
It started in a sauna. I was given a pair of weird shorts made out of a material that I can only describe as "recycled goods". I felt like a toy bought at Whole Earth Provision Company. Topless and confused, I sweat out all the bottled water that I had worked so hard to keep down the last 3 days in a matter of 30 minutes. Once I got out, dripping with sweat, the lady wanted me to just lay on the table for my salt scrub. I insisted on a shower because EW, dude. I showered and was given a pair of strange stretchy underwear. I laid down on the table and was promptly given a wedgie on one side. Salt scrub salt scrub your hand's going where? Woah okay well THAT'S the most action I've gotten in months. I just let it happen. My skin came out softer than a baby's bottom, and for that reason, I salute the salt scrub. Minus the fact that I felt like a nerd being bullied by this Asian woman, it was amazing. From there, I showered again and then went into a room for a massage. The rest was pretty normal, besides the lady getting up on the table and straddling me during the massage in order to pop my back. It felt good but that was a pretty awkward moment. At least buy me dinner first. It ended and I went on to a facial, where a lady pried at my face and put at least 14 different creams on it. Post-everything I was given ginger tea and coconut cookies. All for $45. It was heaven. All in all, 9/10, only because after being so open with these women, I didn't even get a phone number.
- Annnnnd other than that, we took another quick trip on Sunday which I'll save for my next post. This week was chill AF, and it was nice. I settled into my apartment, did normal things, worked normally, and started to get comfortable.
More to come on my trip to the Blue City, hiking, cliff jumping, and gettin' reeeeal close with my fellow remotes AND nature. Until next time...
Freelance writer, designer, and do-it-aller. Traveling the world with Remote Year 6, living in a different country every month. Currently living in Cape Town, South Africa and probably drinking wine.