(the first four days)
Finally, the preparation time is over.
Finally everything is sorted, stored or packed to go.
Finally the goodbyes are over.
Finally the first steps towards the „new home“ and into our new phase of life are done….
With a laughing and a crying eye we take these first steps towards our new world and have more than just a tingling in our stomachs! What is waiting for us on the other side of the Mediterranean? Over which roller coaster will our feelings roll…?
Well, we arrived in the middle of the night. At night, everything is in the dark, intangible and difficult, especially when you are also quite tired. We spent the first night in a small, tiny hotel room between the airport and our co-worker’s apartment. When we finally lay in bed, we were already longing a bit for our old home and our thoughts were riding a bit of a roller coaster. The next morning Han picked us up and we first went out for a nice breakfast. The breakfast lasted three hours. Not that we ate so much, it was not the food that was important, but the fellowship, talking, listening, getting to know each other and collecting ideas for later. Then we went to the bank to change money and to Maroc Telecom for new SIM cards. That also took time, two hours. The subsequent tea time was almost as long as the breakfast. Getting to know each other and planning takes time and in the heat here (already up in the 90s) everything goes a bit slower. Also, the tea ceremony must be learned. To stir the sugar, (which they put in the pot, if you don’t tell them not to do) in the teapot, you can’t use a spoon to stir. That offends the teapot, we were taught. Pour the tea into the tea glass and back into the teapot. This process is repeated three or four times. Then pour the tea into the glass from quite a height, creating many bubbles. Because the bubbles improve the taste 😉
It was a long day at the end of which a Moroccan dinner awaited us in Han’s apartment. At the same time and afterwards we continued to talk…. So about eleven o’clock we fell dead tired into our bed, which stood at an outside wall of the apartment heated up by the sun. (90 degrees in the room) Nevertheless we slept well just the prayer call of the Minaret in the dawn woke us up for a moment, but we went back to sleep right away.
After a few more hours of sleep, we went to the cafe on our corner for breakfast. Since Han had to leave after three days, he wanted to show us as many of his favorite places and other necessary things and explain so much as possible in the short time, without having to „waste“ much time for shopping and cooking. After the delicious breakfast (with further planning discussions) we went to see three language schools, because we wanted to improuve our language skills during the few weeks in Fes. Then, before we went to visit a friend of his family, he took us to a typical Moroccan lunch in a “Riad”. The „Tajine“ is of course eaten with (clean) fingers. A „Riad“ in Morocco refers to traditional Moroccan houses with a cool incloused courtyard. In our case, the Riad was a small hotel with a covered courtyard and fountain.
The visit that followed, with very intensive discussions, stretched over five hours, so that we were not back home until shortly before twelve at night and had almost fallen asleep before we were in bed.
After breakfast on the third day, we headed to the language school where we felt we were in the best position to enroll. This enrollment is not simply filling out two forms and agreeing on the lessons. There is first talking to get to know each other a bit, to match wishes with available possibilities and a few minutes chatting with the German teacher, who just arrived for the lessons and who was very happy to speak a few sentences with „real Germans“. But then the schedule was settled and the price was also paid and we headed off to one of the tourist highlight of the city. Not yet the tour through the old town! It was the tour past the Mc Donalds (MacDo) to one of the largest shopping centers (Borj Fez) of the city. There you can have everything. Starting with frozen yogurt, Pizza Hut and Burger King to Lacoste, Adidas Yves Rocher, Nespresso, Birkenstock and others.
It was interesting to stroll through there. But I noticed again, that I feel much more comfortable at the markets and in the small street-shops.…
Today we were lucky, because there was a short gap in the late afternoon without a program. So there were two hours time for siesta. Shortly before eight pm we left to meet another friend of Han. To visit him, we went to one of the few hotels whit five stars in the city. The friend is a tour guide and just had a tour group in the hotel. So we sat with him and our drink on the terrace and chatted. Well, Klaus and I listened more than we chatted, because the guide told us some interesting things about the city. Especially since we saw the Medina (ancient town) right below us.
Of course, we ended up in the land of dreams quite late again and this morning, we didn’t even hear the call to prayer at dawn. This day was a special day. We made a short detour to the vegetable and fruit market and quickly visited Han’s mechanic friend, before we then dropped him of at the airport. Klaus was driving Han’s car and on the way home, we should stop at the gas station to get some fuel. At the gas station we just stood around a bit lost and asked ourselves, where is the diesel here? But then a friendly employee came up to us, nodded affirmatively to our „Diesel??“ and asked something. We assumed he asked „for how much“ and answered „deux cent“ (200). He asked back „deux cent?“ and we nodded. When he had already turned away, we became a bit uncertain, called him back again and asked: „liter or dirham?“ (Dirham = Moroccan currency) With a big grin, he meant „liter“ and operated the gas pump while we literally saw a thought bubble rise above his head, „Of course liter. You’re not a truck after all…“