Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Morocco: Day Nine: Winding Down


Woke up around 11. Ate again. Hicham and Fatima F. drove us out to the house they're building on the outskirts of town. It's on the first floor while Hicham's brother Salah owns the house on the second floor. They're both really nice two bedroom, one bath houses with A/C and beautiful tile work. Hicham's planning on a nice outdoor grill and a wood-fired pizza oven too! I think this house is for Hicham and Fatima F. when they move back to Morocco in a few years when Rania is out of school. Salah's house is for when he and his family visit from Belgium. The complex has an excellent pool, and most of the kids were making good use of it. T&Z were pissed because they didn't bring their swimming costumes.

We got dropped off in El Jadida and walked to the Portugese City (El Jadida, previously known as Mazagan (Portuguese: Mazagão), was seized in 1502 by the Portuguese, and they controlled this city until 1769, when they abandoned Mazagão. Its inhabitants were evacuated to Brazil, where they founded new settlement Nova Mazagão) It was good to get outside and walk along the ocean on the boardwalk. The walled city was impressive. Most impressive were the boys jumping off the walls and into the waters of the port. It had to be at least 50 feet, maybe more. T & Z were fascinated by this activity that would certainly be prohibited at home, but here no one cared.

We walked back to the Choukailis' and ate some leftover pastilla and lamb, then promptly slept it off. After we woke up, Fatima C. returned and opened presents. The gifts were very similar to those at an American wedding. They got a lot of stuff for formal entertaining, including at least four tea sets. Apparently, they don't do bridal registry here either as they don't have many chain stores. I was informed that the duplicates would be "re-gifted" for future events. I wonder if there's an Arabic word for that.

We said goodbye to most of our Moroccan friends, and returned to Shakir and Jalila's house. We packed up our bags, which didn't take long, then went outside to hang out by the pool. We sat under the, I don't know, tiki hut(?) by the pool, and enjoyed some beer, Moroccan wine, and scotch and friendly conversation with Shakir, Hicham, Salah, and Geraldine. This went on until the wee hours. Tristan and Ghita came out to swim, while I comprehended maybe half the French-language conversation, and lamented the lack of a backyard grill and a decent cheeseburger. A cheeseburger really would have made that scene.

We camped out in the salon, as Abla's room was being used by some older woman, maybe Shakir's mother, I'm not sure. Sleep came easily.

(repost time 7/20)


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