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Pictures from Morocco

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I’m happy to report that my stroke of bad luck was short-lived – I feel like the travel fairy is smiling on us again. After the torrential rain in Meknes and Volublis, we started a day in Fes with sunshine!
Luckily the ATM that ate my card was at an actual bank, so I when I went back the next morning I was able to show my passport, sign a lot of papers, get my card back and get money. I wasn’t the only victim, though. The teller chuckled when I explained my situation, then shuffled through a stack of about 50 cards to find mine. Although I’ve never paid a lot of attention to where I got money before, I definitely recommend using ATMs at actual banks, especially if you don’t speak any of the local languages. In Morocco, depending on where you are, that includes Arabic, Berber, French, or Spanish. Although a lot of the younger generations learn English in high school, public signage doesn’t yet include it. I was surprised when my Royal Air Maroc flight went through the safety instructions in Arabic, French, English, and Turkish, but I guess that’s how they cover all interested parties.
The only problem that still remains on this trip is my camera. The auto focus on my good lens was on the occasional fritz, and after being waterlogged for several hours, it seems permanently dysfunctional. I’ve been using manual focus, but it’s a lot slower, and I don’t completely trust my eyesight to get the right picture, especially when everything is covered in geometric tiles which quickly highlight the fuzziness in a picture. I also had problems turning the focus ring while trying not to fall off a camel today in the dunes. Tomorrow, in the interest of safety, I’m switching to the kit lens and my phone for pics.
Okay, the Internet isn’t so good here. Hopefully I’ll get some pics up at the next place.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Patrick Redmon #

    Dear Sarah: Glad to hear things are getting better, and most importantly, some dude is not running around the Morrocan streets with your ATM card! I would not be surprised if I had an old, Kodak 110 Instamatic lying around the bottom of my junk chest. Yours if you want it! (ha ha) Your comment about riding the camel made me think about my quick trip to the Pyramids with you and the Master Chief (can’t remember her name; was it Jones?) – and my failure to have a camera with me. I think one of you might have taken some photos along the way, but not sure if I ever saw them. I recall seeing a few groups of tourists doing the camel ride gig – many of them looking very uncomfortable! Of course, Marines used to get a kick out of those nasty creatures during our times in Kuwait, Iraq, etc… Morroco, huh? My only memory of Morocco was a short, amphibious landing exercise with the Morrocan “Marines” sometime back in the late spring of 1995. They did not have their own amtracs so they embarked aboard the USS PONCE (LPD-15?) in order to “hit the beach” in the morning. I guess our lack of cultural understanding got the best of us because we failed to FULLY explain how the head and shower facilities worked. You guessed it. Since the Moroccans were not accustomed to sitting down while “doing their business,” they figured the showers must be the right place!!! Needless to say, the Marines were pissed off and nearly started a full blown international incident. (ha ha) If only we had an Olmstead Scholar on our staff!! She could have made sure we FULLY explained all of the nuances of the ship’s facilities…. 🙂 Be well, be safe and glad to see that the good Karma is back!

    January 16, 2013

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