Day 8: Mashi Mushkila

NOTE: This is the eighth entry in my “From Main To Morocco” blog series, chronicling my ten-day trip to various cities in the country of Morocco. Click here to read more entries in this series.

Mashi Mushkila is the Arabic way of saying “no problem.” (I can’t exactly be sure of the spelling. The versions I looked up conflicted with what I was taught by someone who has been speaking the language for over a year, so I went with what seemed right.) Today was really a “no problem” kind of day. For the most part, it was relaxed and pretty easy going.

Well, once we got on the bus to Essaouira, at least.

We woke up early to have a little breakfast before heading to the bus station. We packed up our bags, took them down to the lobby and safely stowed them away in the trunk of the taxi. After that, we were just waiting for our ride to begin.

But it almost didn’t.

In the tourist cities of Morocco, Westerners are targets. If we’re here, we obviously have money, and we should be willing to hand it over in spades. Our taxi driver tried rather valiantly to rip us off, wanting over double the amount we had paid for the same trip just three days before. Erik wasn’t having it, arguing with the taxi driver for several minutes with us waiting in the backseat. There were a few times were I thought we were going to have to get out, but eventually the driver settled for a price that, while still a little higher than what we paid before, was still more reasonable. Of course, he was still rather angry about it, continuing to argue with Erik the entire way to the bus station. Once we arrived, he popped the trunk, forcibly removed our bags, slammed the trunk and sped off. It was rather funny, if not a little terrifying considering our lives were in his hands for a period of ten minutes.

The bus ride to Essaouira was a bit more scenic than the one to Agadir. The road took us through the mountainside and all along the northwestern coast of Africa. I grabbed a few pictures from inside the bus, but they can’t really capture the scenery.

Moroccan Coast

A view of Morocco's western coast along the way from Agadir to Essaouira.

Once we made it to the bus station, we unloaded, gathered our luggage, and marched off in search of a taxi. We found a couple (since our luggage and our company would have trouble fitting into the smaller taxis in the area), and then we told the drivers where we were heading. They gave us a confused look, then shrugged their shoulders and got in. As it would turn out, our hotel, the Sofitel, was literally one block up from the bus station. After a 45-second taxi ride, we checked in, checked out our rooms, then headed out to lunch.

Balcony View

The view from the balcony in my room at the Sofitel.

After a pretty lazy afternoon at the hotel, we headed to Essaouira’s medina for dinner and a little sight-seeing. So far, exploring the medinas has been one of my favorite activities. Even with modern conveniences, you still get a glimpse of how things used to be — the narrow alleyways, the cobblestone streets … it’s really something to see. We found an Italian place up three flights of stairs, then finished off the evening by stopping at a crepe stand.

[Michelle, you would be so jealous; they served crepes with nutella! I had one with nutella and sliced banana. It was unbelievably good.]

After dessert, it was time to head back to the room. We’re in a little bit earlier today than usual, but I don’t mind. I haven’t been getting a super amount of sleep lately, so a little change will do me good.

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post tomorrow; the wi-fi at this hotel isn’t included in the room, and I’m having to borrow Erik’s laptop (and his handy portable wi-fi connection) just to post tonight. However, we’ll be back in Marrakech on Monday, so if I’m not able to post, I’ll just post double that day. Hopefully you won’t mind.

But that’s all for tonight. See you again soon.

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About [rlh]

Ryan L. Haddock is an aspiring writer, emphasis on the "aspiring." He mostly writes short stories, but that is only because he doesn't seem to have the attention span necessary to write a novel. At least, not yet. He is also a husband and a father . . . yet he is still struggling valiantly against the notion that he has to grow up. View all posts by [rlh]

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