The weather was getting colder, the Christmas markets had sprung up and the chocolate bûche cakes were appearing in the patisseries. Yup, my very first winter Christmas was upon me. And what better way to celebrate than a pilgrimage to the Motherland: England here I come!
I am so sleepy, this setting up in a new country thing is hard! Not only is there all the job hunting junk to do –endlessly walking through the city handing out CVs to whomever I can guilt-trip into taking them—but the whole “finding somewhere to live or you’ll be out on the street” rubbish as well. Blegh!
“This is the kingdom-dom! This is a kingdom-dom!”
All I will remember about the eight hour drive from one side of France to the other, squished in between two squabbling kids, is that one refrain. Shouted. On a loop. In a distant monotone voice. Imagine Dragons, why you gotta be kiddie catnip?? At least it stopped them fighting over whose turn it was to play Cut the Rope.
I can’t have been more than 7 when my grandma offered to pray that God wouldn’t let me get any more moles. I don’t remember much after that except a sudden surge of anger (the type that often led my mum to lecturing me on self-control during my childhood), followed by me storming out of the room. I was incredibly insulted and, perhaps for the first time, made to feel that awful self-consciousness that continues to develop as we grow.
France France France-y France.
It was 3am when we left for the airport. Sleepy but excited I checked my ticket: we were flying into Brest. Snigger. As we wound through the dark streets of Marrakech we passed dozens of men in white robes heading out to pray. How do they do that every morning?! Too early!
The school holidays have descended on Morocco, which means my quiet days are now a thing of the past. Screaming children! Screaming children everywhere! So last weekend was the perfect time to get away on my own for a few days, and what better place to forget it all than the sunny seaside town of Essaouira?
With the emotional numbness I felt before my departure following me like a comforting apathetic shadow, I’ve been able to avoid not only the extreme highs but the extreme lows that come with traveling alone. Yes, it’s frustrating that the only time I’ve really felt any heightened emotion was when my camera ran out of batteries, but I’m grateful for the equilibrium I’ve managed to keep. Even if I’ve experienced some beautiful moments in a rather detached way (I just want to feel!).
I’ve been in Marrakech for exactly three weeks now. Wow. Time is crazy weird. And apart from every inch of me being covered in itchy bites (the cat must have left me a present last night), I’m having a great time.