Tick, Tock, the Biological Clock

Trip Start Dec 16, 2009
Trip End Jan 09, 2010

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First of all – I must tell the story of how Mary masterfully manipulated me, convincing me to go on this trip. Job security is bad … work hours have been reduced … could this trip really be justified?  Mary had a bunch of vacation days to burn, so she casually inquired as to my plans for the holidays – I explained that I couldn't justify it at the moment, but that I’d have to think about it later, as it was entirely dependent on job security (or more accurately, the lack of).  But then … one day, Mary sent me a link, with the innocuous message "Hey, check out this cruise, it looks like a really good deal." 

“Why would I be interested in a cruise?” I thought, especially since my last experience with one wasn’t all that great.  But then … I clicked on the link … and saw a cruise … to the Mediterranean … leaving from and returning to … Barcelona!  It was a stroke of genius by Mary – while I still didn’t want to do a cruise, her email had the intended effect.  Once I started thinking about all things Spanish and beautiful, it was a done deal; travel was again at the forefront of my mind, and such thoughts cannot be stopped, no more than one could stop a runaway train. 

Yes, Spain is my Kryptonite, something that can be wielded against me to manipulate me into doing anything.  And funnily, Spain has similar effects on me like those that Kryptonite has on Superman:  Kryptonite weakens Superman, while Spanish women make me weak in the knees; Superman could die from Kryptonite, I feel like I’ve died and gone to Heaven when in Spain … 

It’s my own fault for being so weak in this regard, but still – I never expected a friend to use it against me, especially not Mary.  Who knew that she could be such a master at the art of manipulation?  Have we all underestimated her all these years?  Is she a future Lex Luthor?  What havoc will she wreak on this poor, unsuspecting world???

So why Morocco?  Of all the choices, it had to be somewhere warmer than Calgary – with recent temperatures hovering below -30 deg C, this included any destination other than the North and South poles.  The shortlist was Cyprus, Egypt, Malta and Sicily, South America (Patagonia), Turkey, or Morocco. 

Cyprus didn’t seem to offer enough to justify a three to four week trip, and might be best combined with a future trip to Greece.  Egypt would have been a good choice, and the time of year was perfect to visit the Pyramids, since winter time meant pleasant and not scorching-hot temperatures.   But it seemed a bit cold for visiting the Red Sea and Mediterranean coast.  Plus, Egypt would have been combined with a visit to Jordan and Israel, and it was too cold for a float in the Dead Sea, and to visit the Israeli coast line. 

Malta is more of a dive/beach destination, which was enough to eliminate that option – though the incredible culinary delights of Sicily are suitable to be enjoyed at any time of year.  Gelato, granita, pizza, mmm … South America was ruled out because of the expensive flights.  Turkey would be an incredible place to visit, but many of the best destinations apparently shut down to tourism in the off season.

That left us with Morocco … we’d been there before on the first trip to Spain, but it perhaps isn’t correct to describe a day-trip to Tangier as being an authentic visit to Morocco.  Morocco is apparently an incredible place to visit once you get away from Tangier, and I’d recently received some good tips from Naoual, who is actually from Marrakech.  The decision was a no-brainer when we considered one thing – proximity to a certain beloved country, accessible at some points by a 45-minute ferry ride … of course, I’m talking about Spain!  Who could resist a trip there?  Certainly, not I!

Off to the airport, where I possibly had the most bizarre conversation I have ever had, or ever will have, with my Dad.  “So, have you put any thought into getting married?  You are getting old, after all.”  Huh???!!?  Do I have some biological clock tick-tocking away, at a frequency that I am oblivious to, but for all others, chimes as loudly as Big Ben?  Though I perhaps should have said “I want to drop to my knees and propose to every beautiful Spanish senorita who walks by, so yes,  I have thought about marriage..” I simply said “Uh … no …” 

It’s not that it’s an uncommon topic, it’s just that I have never spoken about anything of the sort ever before with my Dad.  Weird … of course, I could also have said “Actually, I did fake a marriage once …”  Thankfully, the most awkward conversation in the history of mankind died a rather quick death, as we soon arrived at the airport

Mary arrived shortly after me, and the long wait time to check-in for the flight led to some interesting discussion – we both packed light, and Mary suggested she would maximize use of her clothing by wearing undies twice, by flipping them inside and out.  I suggested that further efficiency could be achieved by not only flipping them inside out, but rotating them front to back.  That’s a total of four uses!!!

On board, a nice little surprise was waiting for us in our row, seated at the window – a Spanish-speaking senorita!  It’s always nice to practice the language, especially since we’ll soon be there.  Though perhaps I need to practice further, because she described my Spanish as being coherent – I’m not sure that could be taken as a compliment!  A graphic design student, this was the second cute-little-Spanish-speaking graphic designer I have met in the past few months.  Perhaps it’s a sign that I need to quit engineering and become a graphic designer!  But I was quite offended after the flight, when Mary told me Leonor was the cutest person she had ever sat next to on a flight before - what about me???
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