Monday, February 15, 2010

Stick a fork in me because I`m done

posted Sun, 07 Aug 2005

44° doesn’t sound that hot, but when you multiply it by 9/5, then add 32, it becomes 111° in real temperature.

That’s how hot it was in Marrakech yesterday when Megan and I were walking around. We didn’t know that was the temperature until later, though. Had we known it was so insanely hot, we would have taken a taxi. Or returned to Rabat immediately. All we knew was that it was hot enough that Megan said her eyeballs were sweating. Or they would have been sweating if she had had any fluid in her.

We walked from our hotel to the medina and the souk. I don’t know why except that one of the things I enjoy doing when I travel is walking and poking around places. I especially like to see the grocery stores in other countries. Did you know that you can find Tabasco Sauce in Marrakech in even the most ordinary little corner grocery store?

Thank goodness for McDonald’s. I don’t eat there, but I can count on them for other things. I wrote that one of the disadvantages of travel is not being able to find places to pee. I don’t know why I even needed to pee yesterday, but need to pee I did. I was also parched at the same time. You know how you can count on McDonald’s to be a good place to stop in the US? Well, you can count on them in Morocco as well.

(And, I might add, in Paris. Don’t let the French complaints about American fast food imperialism throw you off. Any time I have stopped at the McDonald’s on the Champs Elysees – does that give me travel snob points or what? – it has been full not of les Americains but of les Frenchmen. The bathrooms there are relatively clean for French toilettes. And they are free, which is unusual for French toilettes. Take your own toilet paper.)

But I digress. So it was 111 insanely hot degrees. No one else appeared to be bothered by it. Indeed, whenever we mentioned it, they would laugh and say, “But it’s a dry heat! It’s good for the health!”

My suspicion is that les Marrakechis say this to the tourists, then get together later in ice-cold air-conditioned rooms and laugh.

We had wanted to go to a hammam, which is a bath – I would say a Turkish bath, except of course, we are not in Turkey, but Megan pointed out that there really was no point in paying to be subjected to a steam bath right now and we could spend a few hours in our air-conditioned hotel room for free.

Even once the sun went down, it was still hot. It sprinkled some – a sign, our guide said, that it was storming in the mountains, but it was still hot. At supper, we sat next to a pool. A bad idea, I think, for them to put us there. We were hot, sweaty, dirty and stinky. And thirsty. Here, they don’t put water in the glasses right away. You have to order water (that is, pay for) if you want it. It took about ten minutes before we had anything to drink. Megan and I kept looking longingly at the pool. If they had taken much longer to give us something to drink, I think we might have been swimming.

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