I Don't Want to Crap in My Pants!

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

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Flag of Morocco  , Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz,
Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our guides awakened us at 6:30 with the light thumping of a Moroccan drum; not all heard it, but they were eventually roused by the grunting of the camels!  We did find out a bit of an explanation for the behaviour of our camels; apparently it's mating season, so perhaps they were just horny beasts.

Though everybody ended up on different camels, the guides ensured that Michael and I got back on our crazy camels. However, it only took about five minutes to calm them down today, not twenty like yesterday. I began to suspect that Mary had paid off the guides to whack me in the desert, with savage camels the weapons of choice.

Another hour of chafing, and we were back in Merzouga - during a discussion about the discomfort of camel riding, someone commented "It was bigger today, so I had to spread my legs more, and it hurt worse!" I'm not even going to comment on that one!  Breakfast was at the guest house that was the starting point of our camel trek. Another typical Moroccan breakfast, but this time with some omelet wedges. An Aussie girl buttered one up, thinking it was a pancake!

Before heading off I did my business in the toilet, thankful that it was of the western-type, and not a squat one. I've been dreading using one because of a story Chad once told me - the first time he used one was in Southeast Asia and when he sized up the situation, he realized that he would very likely crap in his pants if he wasn't careful. As a precaution, he took his pants off and hung it up on a hook before attempting to squat.

When I first heard this story, I laughed until my stomach hurt and to this day, I still chuckle when I see a squat toilet and think back to Chad's little dilemma. But I am very grateful for knowing of Chad's trials and tribulations with squat toilets in Asia because otherwise, I'd probably end up crapping in my pants or all over my shoes any time I needed to use one, as I'd lack the foresight to take off my pants. I'd probably still crap all over my shoes, because I simply can't comprehend the geometry of how it’s possible to do it without making a mess all over the place.

I quickly brushed my teeth before we departed, and the Aussie girl in shock, asked me "Do you normally use the water to brush your teeth??!!?" I had never thought about that up to this point, using it everywhere we have been - but she made a good point, as here it was the most basic of guest houses, so the water supply could have been of questionable quality. I later re-rinsed my mouth with bottled water.

On the road - it's nice to have a netbook while traveling, because I was able to do a bit of blogging as we drove. This didn't last long, as typing on the bumpy roads started to make me queasy, and I was concerned that the vibration would cause the hinge between the screen and the keyboard to break. The blowing dust was also getting all over the netbook.  It's over ten hours to get back to Marrakech, so stops were limited to lunch and bathroom breaks.

Our driver kept playing traditional Arab music and when we pulled over for a moment to allow the driver to take care of something, Paolo reached over and shut off the stereo, commenting "No more Arab music for me for 10 years!"

The road back to Marrakech was very twisty as we descended from the Atlas mountains – our driver perhaps fancies himself as a grand prix driver, the way he was blasting through the curves. There were some pretty tight passes into oncoming traffic – Marianna remarked that she was surprised we survived the drive back to Marrakech.  We were dropped off at the end of one of the pedestrian streets that radiates outwards from the Place, and said our goodbyes.

Back to the Riad – it was a long day and we were quite tired, despite not doing anything overly physical today. On the way there, we passed a mother and daughter that was staying in the same Riad as us in Essaouira.  It's a small world while traveling in Morocco!

We only wanted a simple meal this evening, partially because we were getting sick of the typical couscous and tajine menus that are everywhere. Back to the same pedestrian where we were dropped off at the end of the tour – tonight would be a shawarma night. We finished up our meal and took a short walk through the Place on the way back to the Riad. It’s been an exhausting few days, so we’ll sleep well tonight!  I wanted to leave some milk and cookies out for Santa tonight, but they'd probably only be eaten by those huge cockroaches we encountered a couple of nights ago.
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