Sep 6:  Casablanca


Woke 3am on account of a text message (mind the gap, people), but the music in the area was still pounding.  I thought there might be a concert at the stadium across the street.  I put in earplugs, but the music ended around 4am.

I checked the time after that when I was lucid.  8am, then 9am.  Checked the Internet from my bed 9:30am-9:45am.

Hey, it's September 6!  One year ago today I got (myself) fired from j2 and regained ownership of my life and health.  Thirteen years ago today I left LAX for my first Contiki tour.  Fifteen years ago today I boned Pikachu for the last time, and I know that date only because I had to create a password for some account that week and I still have the same password.

Prayer direction to Mecca in my room.

Left the hotel 10:30am for sightseeing.

Mohamed Diouri stop on the tram line near the hotel, on Blvd Mohammed V.

I was led to believe that the French colonial architecture in this area was stupendous, but it wasn't notable at all.  Maybe I've been too many places.

McDonald's and KFC.  I was craving KFC before the trip.  From my Egypt trip I knew that KFC was present in Africa.  This is tempting.

Place Mohammed V.

Place Mohammed V.

Place Mohammed V.

Place Mohammed V.  Outside of Marrakech, I'd say 85-90% of Moroccan women dress like this.  The rest wear full burkas.  To everyone who looks forward to me hooking up with exotic local girls on these trips, instead of the white girls in my tour group...no.

Place Mohammed V.

Parc de la Ligue Arabe.

Parc de la Ligue Arabe.

Parc de la Ligue Arabe.  I saw this cat but he ran and hid.  The bush is so thick you can barely see the pussy.  THANK YOU.  I AM RETIRING FROM COMEDY AFTER THAT ONE.

Cathédrale du Sacré Coeur.

Cathédrale du Sacré Coeur.

Cathédrale du Sacré Coeur.  My mom used to make us go to Mass on vacation, so here I am.  Once (1982?) we went to Mass near Niagara Falls, and I checked out the songs in the missal and that's how I know O Canada isn't supposed to end on an asshole high note.

On the street the cathedral is on.  Yes, that's an image of "Marly" Monroe.  If this restaurant was a wrestling move it would get an extended "you fucked up" chant from the crowd.

Street leading to the medina.  Every Moroccan city has a medina (old town).  Most are funky.  None are cold.

Entry gate to the medina.

I made it through the medina from one side to the other and didn't get lost or robbed, which are two legitimate likelihoods there.  Had to keep moving over for motorcycles while avoiding stepping in fish water.  Saw a guy pushing a cart full of little baby chickens dyed in different colors.

Exited the medina at some random gate and saw the Hassan II Mosque, so I was exactly where I wanted to be.

Hassan II Mosque with a gas station in the foreground.  I took this because it reminds of this famous Ebbets Field pic.

Hassan II Mosque.  2nd-largest mosque in the world.  Tallest minaret in the world.

Hassan II Mosque.  There are guided tours here, but this was 12:30pm and the next one was at 2pm, and I wasn't inclined to stick around.

Hassan II Mosque.  The schedule changed and the next tour wasn't till 3pm, so I was wise not to incorporate the tour into my afternoon schedule.

Dude jumping off the mosque into the Atlantic.

El Hank Lighthouse.

Coast & Atlantic from mosque.

Hassan II Mosque.  Based on this photo it's more of the AT&T Park of mosques than the Ebbets Field of mosques.

La Sqala.  Restaurant built behind this fort on the road back to the hotel along the coast.

Oh, here they are.  The little baby chickens.

At 1:45pm I had lunch at KFC.  43 dh for a Crispy strips meal (including 10 dh for spicy).

Stade Larbi Benbarek, across the street from the hotel.  It's not easily recognizable as a stadium from street level.

Stade Larbi Benbarek and the hotel to the right.

Hotel Moroccan House.  Back here 2:45pm.

Caught up on Internet stuff in my room.  Enjoyed the air conditioner.  Then turned if off and opened the balcony door.  Casa smells like fish!

Showered, and the drain was clogged and the shower overflowed just in the 10 minutes I was washing my hair.  Bathroom floor was covered with water but it didn't breach into the rest of my room.  I turned off the water and soaped up the rest of myself as I waited for the pool of my own filth to hald-drain, then I rinsed.

I had to take a dump right away after the shower.  :(  I felt like I was in the home of an asshole with a newly-cleaned or -installed floor who makes people take off their shoes as they enter, so they don't track poop in.  The very poop I discharged after the shower!

6pm meeting with the group.  About what I expected.  Tour leader is Abdellah, aka Abdoul.  He's been leading tours for 7 years, the last 2 with G.  He's a Berber from the High Atlas Mountains.  I wish I hailed from a mountain range, like Andre the Giant from Grenoble in the French Alps, or The Man They Call Vader from the Rocky Mountains in Boulder Colorado.

9 girls, 5 guys in the group, and I'm the only single guy.  Out of 14 people total there are 4 couples from Canada, 1 Kiwi, 1 Irish (not arriving till later), 1 German, 2 Japanese and 1 me.  6 older than me and 7 younger.

At 8pm we left for dinner at Restaurant Les Fleurs.

I ordered the horse burger.  Also 2 Heinekens for 50 dh each that were only 250 mL.  First country where 500-mL beers aren't standard.

Horse burger.  It was ground and mixed with spices so it tasted like anything else.

Sophia (the German) put unsalted butter on her bread and then salted it.  OK, I've done this before and now I know it's not weird.  Then she left mid-dinner for an ice cream date.  Don't know how it compared to the famous Stanaland-Gee ice cream date of 1994.

Back to the hotel 10:30pm.  We noticed music coming from under the stadium.  Apparently there was a club downstairs on the street facing the hotel.

Bed 12am after Internet.  Put in earplugs because of the music, so I set 2 alarms for 7:30am


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