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Published: August 28th 2006
This blog is dedicated to my good friend and college room-mate PT Lam who turned 40 today. Her list of achievements are legendary.
(1) Beating Paul at skulling beer
(2) Beating Tseung at golf
(3) Having the smelliest feet on the planet. Mmm, anyone for salt and vinegar chips?
(4) Having the most seductive smile that had all the guys running. Many have tried to imitate it and failed miserably. My woeful attempt is below.
Here's to PT, a toast (and roast) to you all the way from Marrakech Morocco.
Nothing prepares you for the sights, sounds and smells (phew) of Marrakech. Most activity is centred around the main square of Djemaa el-Fna. The daytime is spent running the gauntlet of snake charmers, henna tattooists, fortune tellers, monkey men (poor monkeys have chains around their necks), herbalists with caged animals (falcons, squirrels, turtles), and harrassing shop-keepers. Not the best destination if you are an animal rights activist.
In the evening the square is transformed into outdoor street stalls. The place we ate at (Cafe Aisha) was fabulous. I tried fried sardines, eel, aubergine, calamari and sausages. There are also other places that serve local delicacies such as roasted
sheep heads, udders, brains, pancreas and stewed tendons.
After you've eaten your fill, then it's time to check out the street entertainment such as games, boxing, Berber music and story-tellers. Hard to relax as there are rampant pickpockets, bum pinchers, plus sleazy men groping and rubbing themselves against you (EEEWWW!!!).
But there were some places to get away from the madness. The El Bahia Palace is beautiful and peaceful for about an hour in the early morning; until it is overrun by noisy tourist groups. But the most relaxing thing was going to a hammam (Mille et Une Nuit). For less than $50 you get a full body scrub, steam room, clay & cumin mask, and half hour massage. You don't realise how grotty you are until you see the rolls of dead skin being stripped away, and emerge smooth as a baby's butt. A near-religious experience.
Morocco is an unreal and unique country. Had a nice overall mix of the cities and countryside, plus relaxing and hectic activities.
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