Monday, 25 October 2010

And relax ...

We went to Morocco.

It is one of those places I have longed to see but hesitated booking to go, I wasn't sure it was a place I'd like to visit if pregnant. Having three months of enforced contraception gave us a window of opportunity for exotic travel, so we grasped it. My fears of food poisoning turned out to be justified, but more on that later.

We went to Fes and Tangier. The latter at the husband's desire to keep it real and see the city feted as a destination for the beat poets and the literary dispossessed, the former because I wanted to see a bit of the touristy sights.

It was amazing. We stayed in guest houses, Riads, that looked like nothing from the outside - just a tiny door in a blank wall, but opened up tardis-like into courtyards dripping with foliage and gleaming with intricate tiles.

We plunged into the Medina (the old town), a space that seems to defy normal compass conventions, turning down blind alley after blind alley in streets so dense and tiny one wrong turn and you could walk into someones house without realising you had left the street behind.

Donkeys roamed these passageways, carrying loads as wide as the street and paying no attention to a couple of British tourists coming the other way.

On the streets that were wide enough for cars, drivers had a cavalier attitude to the laws of the road, just as pedestrians cultivated a kamicazi one. It was exciting, and at times terrifying.

We took a cooking class - learning how to roast aubergines (eggplants) on the hob to achieve the smokey flavour of their salads was worth the price of the class alone.

I had a hamman. A traditional steam then aggressive rub, removing any vestige of dead skin. For someone who has grown use to cheerfully displaying her vagina to anyone with medical training I found having a male attendant diligently scraping my whole body (with the exception of the part covered by my bikini bottoms) quite disconcerting. I resisted the urge to laugh at the absurdity of the situation until he reached my armpits - there was no keeping a straight face then. Afterwards my skin felt incredible, could this be the closest to baby soft skin I'll ever get?

I practiced my haggling skills. They were terrible. I managed to shave just three pounds off a beautiful leather bag, but it still cost significantly less than I would have spent in the UK so both the trader and I were happy. But, I am shamed to confess, I want the bag not for handbag (too big) or overnight case (too small) rather, how adorable would this look hung over the handles of a pram stuffed with nappies, a spare, tiny, pair of trousers and a bottle or two of milk?
Above all we relaxed. I don't know if it was having finished the pill but this week saw more ... ahem ... relaxation than the last three month combined. We relaxed frequently, and like rabbits. Such a shame it is all for nought until the coil is removed, still practice makes perfect.

But all good things come to an end and unfortunately ours was a premature one. On day 5 we were struck with fairly chronic food poisoning, that is still working its way out of our system in the most base way possible. We spent the last two days of the holiday shut in our room shuttling between the bed and the en suite. The unholy sounds that emanated from that en suite has scarred us both. I am not sure whether the husband and I will ever be able to be fully relaxed in each others company again.



  1. No way! A week went by already?

    The photos are GREAT. More of this kind of thing, please?

    Sorry to hear about the Situation, as we call it in my house. Like: I have a Situation! as one or the other makes a run for the bathroom.
    Get well soon!

  2. TOOOO Funny.... not the illness itself.... but your "un-CANNY" (pun intended) description... Coming out of Lurk-ville here to wish you the best and say that I am glad that you enjoyed your holiday.

  3. I've always wanted to visit Morocco. It sounds like it was a fantastic trip, food poisoning aside, of course. Hope that situation remedies itself so you can get back to some well deserved at home relaxation.

  4. Except for the last couple of days it sounds like a wonderful trip! And with all that practice relaxing :) Also, your reason to buy the leather bag is one of the best ever, and I hope it'll get to its destination soon.

  5. This is probably the reason why we never travel. My husband functions as a human salmonella detector - anywhere there's bacteria, he will find it, ingest it, and be felled by it. Sorry to hear that your trip ended in such an unpleasant fashion.

    But the rest looks fantastic! Lovely pictures and the bag is very nice...and would make a most fashionable baby accessory.

  6. You're pictures are great! Thanks for sharing your Moroccan adventure with us!

  7. Sounds like a FANTASTIC trip! Minus the food poisoning of course :) Loved the pictures and stories, felt like I had a mini-vacation :) Thanks for sharing!

  8. Sounds amazing (minus the last few days) and thanks for sharing the pictures. Looks really beautiful.

  9. And there was me... feeling disgruntled because I haven't been on holiday for years and the husband won't home for for Christmas thinking:
    "Is Morocco the place to go with 3 (x-box loving) kids to relax?!"
    And then I read your post.

  10. Sorry about that food poisoning, but the rest of the trip sounds amazing!

    I'm jealous of your rubdown too.

  11. Practice *does* make perfect! If there is one thing I have learned since getting married, which I definitely didn't know beforehand, it is that. So sorry about the food poisoning. :( Loved your twin's guest post, by the way. And hooray for hammams!

  12. Hmm, sounds brilliant, I really want to visit soon. How are you supposed to avoid the food poisoning situation though? Erk. Gorgeous bag. x

  13. So sorry to hear about the food poisoning, sounds quite bad! On the other hand the bag is absolutely fab and I hope it will be very soon full of yucky raisins and biscuit crumbs, it will be a lovely sign :)

  14. Sounds lovely, except for the en-suite activities... and the bag is gorgeous. I've got a craving for aubergines now...

  15. Oh, I love Morocco. I spent three weeks there in 2007, it was magical. Glad you could enjoy each others' company while you were there. I just got back from a holiday in Malaysia, where I was able to do the same. Blissful, after a month of extreme work-stress.

    Poppy xox

  16. Sounded idylic right up until that last bit .... reminded me too much of the time when I had amoebic dysentary whilst traveling in Nigeria (aka - land without lavs). (true story).

  17. Aside from visiting Ralph & Huey, I'm glad to hear a good time was had.
    The bag is adorable but then I do have a weakness for handbags.
    Welcome home!

  18. ahh memories... although in our case it was 5 days out of a two week break in Egypt *shudder*

    Sounds like a lovely time despite the ending and that bag is lovely.

  19. The first part of your holiday sounds brilliant, cooking, baby skin rubdown and bunnying. Very sorry about Part Deux, though. I do know what you mean. I went to India with my husband several years ago and we've never, ahem, looked at each other with the same modesty since.

    The bag is beautiful. Here's hoping it can be drafted into use very, very soon.

  20. Eeewwww! Reminds me of the time Mr H poisoned us both with some dodgy oysters!

    Glad you enjoyed the first part of the trip though, and hope that you're now on the road to recovery.


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