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Archive for November 8th, 2011

Of course I am speaking figuratively. The weather in Marrakech is stunning. Bright, sunny, warmish and not a cloud in the skies. Simply beautiful!
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After our fantastic cooking class in Maison MK we take a taxi out to the airport to pick up a car we had made arrangements for in Canada. The taxis do not have meters so I ask “Combien?” he says “cent” which means 100 dirhams, about $12, ok, we’re off. We get to the airport and he wants his money before we get to the door. Ok, here it comes… ‘je sais 120’ I’m not gonna argue over 20 dirhams, but it’s the principal; it leaves a bad taste. Not everyone is like this, I am still hoping, the optimist!
Everything is great at Thrifty! It’s a new car, a little 4×4, diesel (yay, diesel is cheaper!). We also rent a GPS, after all we’re going into the dessert! We are taken to the car by the manager who speaks only Arabic (good choice)! The car has no fuel, maybe enough to get us to the gas station; ok, where is it? He points in a general direction. It’s a busy day, the day before the massive celebration of The Sacrifice traffic is mayhem. We pull up to a pump; they serve, we have no choice. We tell the guy DIESEL. Again, c’est diesel? Excusé mois, nous devrions DESIEL. He waves us away. We pay cash for this transaction. As we drive, I am trying, hopelessly to enter the Riad’s address, no such address. It’s a Garmen, I have a slightly newer one at home, I know what I am doing. No such address, no such hotel when I enter the name; oh this can’t be good. We think we can navigate to our Riad, but the roads are chaos (who’s idea was this???). We stop to try to figure out our the map on the iPhone and the GPS. The car coughs a bit. We sit for 15 minutes figuring things out, we ask someone; OK, back on track. We start the car, cough, cough, cough. We wait and try again. Crap. We are not in a touristy area, but the people of Marrakech are generally friendly and honest (except the cabby) we are not scared. We decide to leave the car where it is and return to the hotel by taxi (we would have called but we forgot the specifically bought cell phone back in the Riad room; grrrrrrrr). We call Visa (platinum) right away to register our complaint (since we rented the car with them) – I highly recommend the platinum Visa card, it is WORTH every penny yearly!
The wonderful lady in our Riad calls the car company and they say they will send someone out right away. It is 5:30, while we wait we have the opportunity to meet our hostess and she is quite sympathetic to our misfortune; the technician finally arrives at 8:30. Grrrrrr. We explain where we’ve left the car. He disappears. Now those of you who have been married a long time can probably feel the chill of the silence that ensues! After some talking and a bit cooling down we head out for dinner; we inhale a bottle of wine and some very good food.
The following morning the Thrifty fellow shows up. It was determined that the wrong fuel was put in the car by the attendant. Me: “Did you get a receipt?” JT: “no, we payed cash” and we even tipped the x$!?//(insert really profane word here) GRRRRRRR!
We’re good! Lalala!
Since it is a big holiday here we really can’t do much today so the Thrifty guy just gets our story and leaves. Tomorrow the he wants us to go with him to the gas station; that will be fun!
We have decided to wimp out: no rental car, no trip to the dessert. We are staying 4 more nights in Marrakech and then one night on the way home in Casablanca as planned. We will do bus excursions and day trips. On a positive note, our Riad had let our particular room out so we have had to upgrade a bit to a much nicer room. Our gracious hostess has allowed a 25% discount because it costs a lot more; a happy wife is a happy life! Sadly our new room doesn’t have access to Wifi so we must go into the common areas!
Photos below. This is our new front door. And the only exterior window is a tiny little hike to the street from the bathroom, all other windows are into the central courtyard (this one is far quieter than the first).

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Our new home even has a lovely wood burning fireplace – which comes in very handy as there is no central heating!

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