Morocco: It gets better.

Or it has gotten better. Yesterday when I arrived I had a moment where I thought I would just break down and cry. Which probably occurred as I walking through the line for immigration, fruitlessly attempting to call my parents and being unable, and wondering how I was going to get a hotel for the night. Then yes, it did get worse when I walked aimlessly around the airport in a haze hoping and hoping to find WiFi only to fail endlessly. It wasn’t until I randomly wandered into the train station where a man was urging me to run to catch it did I find I could get the internet in some cafe waiting area for the next trains. Then began my journey of waiting two hours to get a cab in which that ride took twice as long as it should have as well. I’m not sure what happened entirely on that cab, but I did fear for my life once or twice. Maybe I was overreacting a bit when looking at it with a clear head, but in the moment I was scared. First, the guy told me a price. Cash only. I told him I didn’t have cash and he showed me an ATM machine. So I got the cash. It was in the Moroccan currency. Makes sense as we are in Morocco. We’re driving along and he pulls over to a gas station which to my knowledge appears empty. It’s not at least because a shadowy figure emerges from the darkness to fill up his tank, which miraculously does not run out later in the journey even when it’s on E for a half hour and I feel like I’m going to die all over again. The thing is though, he then asks for me the cab fare. Like 15 minutes into our journey which doesn’t sound very normal but as it’s an hour ride and the airport was practically empty I’m doing what I can to keep this guy driving me. We start arguing though when I don’t have euros. It wasn’t even an option at the dang ATM! I’m like “Hey man, you told me this ATM, this is all they have, I can pay you in this.” And he just kept repeating “Euro.” I’m thinking that I’m about to be stranded on the side of this road in this horror film inspired gas station until he finally seems to understand that I have 0 euros and gives me the price in Moroccan. We keep on driving. I eventually decide to take a nap as it’s almost one am and he even proceeds to push the seat back for me, and roll a knob to recline the seat. Not sure why he had to do these things himself as they were attached to the seat I was sitting in but he did. I should mention that I also told him I spoke Spanish because I couldn’t speak Arabic or French and that might have even been true had he not spoken Spanish mixed with French. That provided quite difficult to decipher, and the reason I didn’t not correct him when he thought I was from Inglaterra (England). I did repeatedly tell him that yes, I was from there, because he asked and I didn’t want to keep changing answers. The second time I thought I was going to die though, for some reason I did think he was going to lean over and stab me while I slept because he saw me pull out more money than he asked for when I gave him the fare and I probably reeked of desperation anyway. He did not. I was given two phone numbers to call a security guard at the house in Morocco, and the first number did not seem to be the correct one. I was lucky to be able to reference an email in which I had another number that seemed to work. However, it wasn’t that simple. He apparently had to go buy a phone card for his own cell phone to work, which was then followed by him talking to random cars and then police officers in order to find out where he needed to go. He drove around on empty for quite a while before we found the security guard on a bicycle who pedaled his way back to the house showing us the way. I should also mention that every time on the phone he referred to me as Harriet. He said many other words that I did not understand in the slightest. The cab ride should have taken an hour, it took two, and I was entirely surprised that we made it there at all. Then, because I had to take a cab and missed my flight, I had to go the airport today to get my bag. Long story short, I did end up getting it even if waiting an hour there just because there was one guy working for the airline and he was nowhere to be seen. The only really bad part about the whole plane process last night is apparently there’s a relatively simple explanation. It seems that because they didn’t print both boarding passes in Madrid, of which I have no reason as to why not, they were attempting to tell me to go through immigration and then go back to the initial check in for the airline to have them print my boarding pass. How I was supposed to understand that when all they said was “Follow the red line, have your passport stamped, and ask for accommodation” is beyond me. Because to me accommodation means a hotel and when I seemed to ask for clarification, all they did was repeat that. Regardless, it ended up with me going through that ordeal from hell but I did make it out alive. I did make it to the house. I did get my luggage. I did acquire some facewash covered in arabic script. Morocco, we got off to a rocky start, but I see a lot of smooth sailing for us in the future. So it goes.

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