Published: May 20th 2012May 20th 2012
Things come in 3's:3 phones, 3 taxis, 3 disturbances.
We had agreed to ph the riad (inn) to let them know that we arrived so rhat they could meet us at the Bab (gate) to walk us through the maze of streets to the riad. We had already consulted someone about which digits in the long ph number were the ones to use. When we did find a public phone, and the correct change (we were told 1 or 2 dirhams), R tackled the job. Try #1: money into slot, number entered-- call goes through but cuts out after a few seconds. Try #2: more money + number entered. R can hear voice on other end but they can't hear R. Waits a few minutes in case he calls back. Try #3: R goes to Tele-boutique across street to try a different ph. No luck. We decide to get taxi anyway. Taxi #1: driver refuses to get out of cab-motions for us to lift our cases up on to the roof rack. We walk away. Taxi #2: more helpful driver gets out and, having nodded to R's price of 20 Dr (which is the maximum recommended by info agent at train station), he piles our bags on roof rack. After we're installed, he now says price is 30Dr. I'm out of there! Bags removed, we are surrounded by drivers offering to take us. Taxi #3: seems nicer. Installs bags more carefully. Agrees to 25Dr. Off we go. How silly it all seems afterward to think that we've been haggling over less than $1! No, it's the manner we're being treated. During our 1st night in Fes, I was awakened by dogs barking--not that it was loud or close; rather, it was persistent. I felt that they were in a continual alarmed state. #2: The loud speaker came on with the Imams' call to prayer. Not just 1 imam, but several calling from different mosques in the neighbourhood. It was at least 20 minutes of discordant chanting before things were quiet again (4.35 am
)...until #3: now it's 5am
so the local cock begins to crow. I did go back to sleep finally at 6am
. Now it's 4pm
. We survived the mint tea + carpet sales pitch without buying any! I did blow quite a bit on sterling jewellry instead. Time for siesta.