Monday, May 16, 2011

Inconspicuous Tourists



The trip was planned months ago. Then a couple of weeks ago there was a terrorist bombing at a cafe in Marrakech. And Marrakech is of course where we are going. It's no less safe than anywhere else in the world. But, our kids are getting older. They hear things and they get anxious. Especially our oldest. He doesn't want to go. Actually we knew this far in advance. He never wants to go anywhere with us anymore. He's 12. He'll grow out of this in about 18 years when he'll want to move back in with us.



Ember on the other hand is in the car 20 minutes before the car pulls out of the driveway. She's ready and when we start our driver her favorite cd is in the cd player. And it won't eject because someone jammed it in there. Hmm, who could that have been? Definitely not Ember because she proclaimed her innocence about 20 times. Very loudly.

Click on the above video to hear Ember's favorite song of all time. Then replay it for about 4 hours...



We arrived at the Dar Tasmayoun, a farm outside of the city. We and 3 other families took over the whole place for the weekend. They have a pool, rabbits, bocce ball, lots of open space and someone to cook for us. The kids all have friends and we have our friends. When is too early to open the wine? We need to celebrate getting here. We have a lovely dinner and the kids play into the evening.



The next morning the moms head into town to shop. We start at a store. A real live store, as opposed to the medina. This is great because there is no bargaining process. And I hate the bargaining process. They have everything, lamps, glasses, shoes, candles, poofs, pottery. But what they don't have? Prices. Nothing in the store has a price on it. So I don't have to bargain, but I do have to ask the price of any item I'm interested in. And that doesn't interest me or my friend Denise either. We find somewhere to sit and notice the sheep horn lighters. Yes, lighters made out of sheep's horns. I guess it's for the (very masculine) man who has everything. I would have bought it too. That is if I didn't have to ask someone what the price was. We used all the lighter fluid playing around with them at the store anyway...



Then we head to the medina. That is after we figured out how to get to the medina that is. Nothing says inconspicuous tourists quite like 5 white women huddled around a map.



After lunch there was more shopping.



And more shopping...



And then to round it out, some more shopping...




And lots of sitting.



And still more sitting...



Until we arrived at Cafe Argana, the cafe that was bombed a few weeks prior. It was our family's favorite cafe in Marrakech. It has the best terrace view on the square, especially at sunset. It had amazing fig and avocado ice cream. We have so many fond memories there. Now the cafe front is covered by a tarp. It looks like it was being fumigated or remodeled. Only a small memorial right in front told a different tale.



Of the 15 who were killed in the blast, most were tourists. Just like us. Probably having a day very similar to ours. It seems so frivolous to be enjoying ourselves and marveling at our purchases when I think about it. But that's what being a tourist is. It's about seeing the world, living your life and enjoying the journey with your friends. And sometimes you want some mementos of that trip. Things that will remind you of the friends that you made along the way and the laughs that you shared. Damn, I knew I should have bought that sheep horn lighter.




The car is loaded up. I'm not sure the lighter would have fit anyway. We're laughing and enjoying the ride home when Jenner gets pulled over. Something about missing a stop. And Jenner holds her own. In French too. It's very impressive. We didn't know the stop was there. You may have not noticed because we're inconspicuous tourists, but we're not from here. He let her off with a warning, but I'm pretty sure that's just because he thought she was Tea Leoni.



When we get back the kids are playing happily together and the guys are talking. We'll have another evening to enjoy each others company and wonder why we don't do this more often. Another night to savor the sojourn. And another glass of wine...


4 comments:

Anna said...

Wow! Sounds like a wonderful trip! Pictures are lovely. May be something you want to do more often???

The Loerzels said...

Yeah, the Dar called and the boys took the room keys home in their pockets! Looks like I'll be at the post office tomorrow...

Livy said...

YAY!! I'm so glad you stayed at the farm! I hope it was lovely!!

Sara said...

I love the picture of you with the shoes- so cool!

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