Morocco Part Un

Hello Internet, I'm back from my latest African adventure! I figure this will take a few posts so we'll just start with Un (they speak French there...or Arabic...or Spanish ...or Italian....we'll get to that later but we'll go with French for now).

So, for anyone who does not know, Morocco is here:


And We. Went. Everywhere in it. Like so:

But let's start at the beginning, when we were leaving. Because, like my trip to Miami last year (here), quite a bit happened before I even got off the ground.

I tend to run in extremes and either I'm over prepared or not prepared at all for things. So when my friend Angie found a tour group who does tours of Morocco, I completely sat back and did basically nothing, figuring I'd land somewhere in Africa, meet up with this tour group of people I don't know, and they'd just tell me where to go each day. Which is basically what happened, except I also let my brain go when it came to packing, checking to see if I needed shots, checking to see if I needed....a Visa. (Fortunately, I did not.) You know, little details.

But I did finally book my bus up to New York where my flight was leaving.

.....I just didn't make it on that bus. Sigh.

This time it was not my fault! I called a taxi in plenty of time, waited the requisite 20 minutes that they said it could take, and -- still no cab. So I call the company, and what do they tell me?

Oh a cab hasn't been assigned to you yet, we'll dispatch one now.

Now? Now you will "dispatch one"? Now, like the exact time I need to be on my way to the place where I catch my bus? Thanks cab company. You are now dead to me.

So here's what makes all this even worse. I had given my access key to my cat sitter so I couldn't even get back into my building after realizing there was no cab to retrieve me, and

it was raining.

And one thing I didn't think to pack? An umbrella.

This is starting out well.

So now I'm starting to panic because the bus up to NYC is prompt and does not wait for people and I'm still a good 10-15 min drive to the pick up point. And I don't live in an area where you just hail down a cab.

But that's exactly what I did anyway.

I put my GIANT suitcase under cover, walked out in the rain (and I may or may not have been whimpering) to the corner by my apartment, and started yelling at taxi's that drove by. Even though the odds of one of them being empty and/or stopping for me there were low. (Of course the odds of someone I used to work with and/or date driving by and seeing me on a street corner in the rain yelling at traffic for no apparent reason are unreasonably high. Probably happened. We'll never know.)

But it finally worked! Except the cab was going the other way. And I still had to run back and grab my GIANT suitcase. So, fail.

But then it worked again! This time, I actually get in the cab and ask the man to please go quickly.

Which he does not. Sigh.

By some miracle, we do get to my bus pick up spot just about 1 or 2 minutes late and I think maybe, just maybe, I'll still make it.

I was wrong.

So I have to sheepishly text Angie (who is coming from a different city and is a generally organized person who, understandably, is already worried about travelling with me) that I've already messed up the very first leg of our journey and that I'd find another bus.

Then I proceeded to text her each time I got to a new exit on the Jersey Turnpike once on the new bus. Lesson Learned: this game is not as funny to others as it is to me.

I finally get to NYC in time to grab lunch and get on yet another mode of transportation - train this time - to get to the airport. And we meet a loud New Yorker who makes fun of how heavy my GIANT suitcase is and inexplicably asks if I have Bin Laden in it, then basically says he hopes my parents are in it so they can protect us in Morocco.

That was a recurring theme -- everyone who Angie and I told where we were going warned us that it wasn't safe. Everyone, that is, who had never been there. Don't listen to these people, Morocco is fine. Sheesh.

And that's how we started our trip. Next post we can discuss actually being in Morocco :)