I've been sick for the past three days in Morocco.
Stomach bug, nothing serious, just enough to keep me inside and follow a pattern that went something like this:
Bed. Toilet. Bed. Bed. Toilet. Bed. Toilet. Couch.
I needed a change of scenery. I had become too familiar with the hanging lamp above my bed (which was made from plastic shopping bags). So as soon as I started to show improvement and could hold down some food I decided to leave Chefchaouen and head for the coast.
I was telling the other roof top occupants about my plans and a rather nice Aussie (whom I've been hanging out with a bunch) named Liam sparked with interest.
He was more than welcome to join me, and I was happy to have someone to travel with.
Hair: Light Brown Dreads (hints of red)
We left Chaouen just as a series of storms started to desend from the mountains onto the village. We dodged the rain and saw it swirling behind our bus as it roared out of the mountains.
We connected in one town and then took a taxi the remaining 90 kilometers to the coast.
Almost all of the taxis in Morocco are very well used Mercedes from the late 1970's or early 80's.
They are missing hood ornaments, most of the handles don't work, the dash is ripped open, the window don't go up or down, the windshields are cracked and they smell slightly dead (or at least dying). But they are well loved are painted bright colors to indicate what regions they service.
We raced down the mountain with four of us crammed into the back of the three seater bright blue Mercedes. The sounds were astonishing, love ballads sung by a powerful woman's voice blared from the crackeling speakers, while an Arab man who was convinced we were from England wanted nothing more than to talk to us (in arabic) about the Chelsea Soccer team and the mofia.
The cab swerved in and out of our lane, sometimes towards on coming traffic, passing busses and multiple mopeds carrying anything from chickens in cages to small children clinging tightly to the cyclist.
At one moment, as we all reached for something solid to hold our weight down, I drifted away from the ride. The song carried my memory elsewhere, "You were my strength when I was weak, you were my voice when I couldn't speak."
I remembered my mother, playing this song for my father. The song came from our old boom box in the kitchen that was no more. They danced a slow circle on the chipped, earth tone vinyl tile right there in the kitchen, and I watched them, from the corner closest to the stairs.
I was filled with a joy, to be living right then, as mules, marijuana fields and motor scooters became blurs in the window of the speeding taxi to the coast.