EASTBOUND

I woke up at 7am and everyone was still sleeping. A sudden feeling of unfamiliarity filled the room. I was about to leave everything I knew about Morocco and go on with my solo journey to discover more unknown lands by myself. Suddenly I remembered the feeling of leaving home for the first time to move to another country. It almost felt the same, with the same depth. An intense depth that I could not justify because I had been in Marrakesh  for just 4 days.

I swallowed my fear and packed my bags. I erased the tears of my face and gave a last glance at my room. How easily we become attached to familiarity. It is like a yearning that we as humans have. I was determined to break it in every single way, every single time. I turned my back and walked downstairs.

Everything seemed the same in the big living room of the Riad. People arriving, others leaving, some people having breakfast, some waiting around. I checked out and I walked to the plaza carrying a smaller bag. I decided to leave my Kilimanjaro equipment on hold, trusting blindly the staff of the Riad I was at. I got a taxi for 50 Dirhams from the main avenue that passes between Koutoubia and Jemaa el Fna. The people at the hotel were sure the price was 40 but I was too excited to bargain any more than my 3 failed attempts. I got in the taxi and the driver took me to Supra Tours. I ran inside to get a ticket and I barely made it to get the last seat. I had to wait until 2pm for my bus and it was 8:30am. Everything else was full.

I walked to the waiting area and sat on a bench hugging my bag and fell asleep for a few hours. A lady’s strong perfume woke me up. She was wearing a beautiful dress and her head was covered with a golden scarf that matched the dress impeccably. I looked at my phone and saw it was 2 o’clock. I stood up abruptly with my bag and ran outside towards the bus that was about to leave. I checked in my bag and a very handsome moroccan man held my luggage. I looked at him and smiled. He smiled back. His thick dark eyebrows and big eyes  matched his beautiful enchanting smile. He spoke to me in french and all I was able to reply was “Merci”. I got in the bus and glanced at him one last time as the bus was departing to go eastbound.

Everyone around me was a local or at least seemed to be a local. I got glanced at more than once. I observed the women around me and they all had their heads covered. The ride was going to be long and I wanted to start practicing the art of wrapping my head as gracefully as moroccan women seemed to do it all the time. Some women would undo their scarfs one or two times and tie them up again, so I got to observe the technique more than once.

The drive was peaceful and the fresh air filled the bus with the smell of the implacable High Atlas Mountains that I could see from far away on the left. I was sitting very comfortably, with my head wrapped in my scarf like a moroccan woman. There was a stop at a gas station where I ate some kebabs and had a drink and as soon I had finished eating,  the driver called us back to the bus and the trip continued until we got to our final  destination.

The sun had started sinking in the horizon when I got to Agadir. I got out of the bus and made a line to pick up my luggage from the luggage compartment of the bus. The breeze was cool and I could see the moon in the sky big and round. After I got my bag, I walked to the side and sat down on the floor. I was supposed to get picked up by a man whose name was Habib. I could not see anyone around me with a sign so I decided to wait and observe the people at the busy terminal of Agadir.

There was people walking, running, carrying huge boxes and packages. The women were always accompanied by a man or by a child. I was the only loner. Suddenly a loud chanting filled the air of the terminal in Agadir. The chanting was the call to prayer. The same call to prayer that woke me up everyday at 5am while I was in the lands of Allah. A taxi driver was pulling in with his car inside of the terminal but as soon as the call to prayer started, he parked his car and got a carpet out of the car and kneeled on it many times to pray. Seeing people pray in Morocco has been the most amazing display of faith I had ever seen. How easily they dropped everything they were doing to fulfill their duty of a religious person. To thank Allah for the blessings received and to ask for health, peace and long life. Inshallah.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s