With a full day in Essaouira and not knowing exactly what to do with it naturally we went shopping. We had seen the entire medina already and there is really not much else here but the weather is great and the place is stress-free so walking around some more was fun. I bought nothing. The only things of interest I found were in actual non-touristy clothes shops but the stuff I tried on didn’t fit properly and was too expensive for what it was.
What surprises me is how much fabric is used even for very fashionable clothes. We found two boutiques that were catering to affluent stylish women but the shirts could also be worn as mumus. They were of thin delicate material but so much of it! I could have wrapped them around me three times and would have still had room for another person.
In the afternoon I rearranged my ever shrinking bag. I was determined to get rid of most of my clothes for my trip back – so I could buy new ones and also because it’s getting old wearing the same thing over and over. I actually have plenty of t-shirts because I bought a bunch in South Africa and I also tend to forget about the ones I brought for specific reasons (I sleep in one, wear another for running only, wear a third on flights etc). They are all still fine but once I have binned them I forget about them anyway so the guilty conscience factor only comes in when I think about the fact that I spent good money for them not too long ago… the winning argument is that many of them I didn’t even wear for a while knowing fully well that they’re not my favorites. This will most likely not change. So what’s the point of holding onto them? The same goes for two pairs of zipper-leg hiking pants… away with them!
I have also decided to leave the gray backpack behind that I left in the van a couple of days ago. I’m getting it back today and I will only take its contents out and then trash it. I hadn’t used it once during the entire trip. It was meant to be my daybag but it never left my bigger daypack which had more room for snacks and water and wet wipes. The bigger daypack was also only used occasionally because I just hate walking with a bag when I don’t need 99% of its contents. I usually left it on the truck and once I got to Morocco my valuables were all kept in the hotel. I figured there’s a risk in that, but it’s still better than potentially getting mugged in the medinas.
We had dinner at a nearby fish restaurant that ran out of fish after four of us had ordered it – the place was otherwise empty and the people who came after us were sent away. The service in African countries will forever be a mystery to me. We didn’t see our waiter for ages after we had ordered. The drinks that are usually simply taken out of a closeby fridge always take forever and will not be refilled even if you down them right in front of the waiter. A Nicoise salad looked suspiciously like the classic Moroccan salad (canned carrots, rice, potatoes, tomatoes, onion) with the addition of an egg. My buttered fish with herbs looked and tasted exactly like the fried fish the others got sans herbs. All our first selections didn’t exist that day. You learn quickly to pick at least three dishes before you order. Many times the first choice goes through only to be denied a few minutes later when a feeling of triumph and success has settled in and you can already taste the dish on your tongue.
One of the American ladies from the other GAP group joined us for dinner. She had left her trip early to stay behind in Essaouira and do her own thing and also to lose the group as they had been as exhausting as they had appeared to us. We learned that her tour leader had similar maturity and temper tantrum issues as ours. Must be a control thing for Moroccan men maybe? There were some good stories in her nonstop monologue.