(again, this post is an account of things long past. Despite the laps of time, I hope you, my dear readers, enjoy this utterly true account, of the Finn Family International Vacation, as it is quite entertaining. Or at least it was, while it was happening. I can only hope that you find it as enjoyable. If not, well, better luck next time. I say, lets just celebrate the fact that I updated at all.)
The Finn Family is not unaccustomed to vacations. However, what we are less familiar with, are those vacations of the international variety. In fact, they were new to us.
Usually, when the Finn Family embarks on a vacation (to our ever favorite bi-annual holiday vacation spot, at the lovely detroit home, of my grandparents), we pack up an ever trusty Honda Civic and get on our way. In Morocco, things were a little less trusty. as there wasn’t a Civic to be had. Then you remember the baby cow sized luggage, brought by several members of the Finntourage. Add in carry-ons and 110 degree heat, and you’ve got yourself a party. Or at least, the beginning of our vacation.
After arriving in Casablanca, we took a couple of days to recover, catch up on sleep, and take a leisurely stroll through what turned out to be a local ghetto. After changing direction (and picking up our pace), we were El Jay bound. But not before getting intimately familiar with a local treat: the taxi.
El Jadida, or as we affectionately called it in our Travel Journal: El Jay, is a coastal town, with beautiful beaches, or so we were told. But before we could explore those beaches, we had to get there. And our luggage had to come too. Which lead us to the local taxi stand. It was in the middle of a gas station parking lot. It was on the busiest street in the city. There was a group of mechanics waiting, for what I’ll guess was a broken down car. And then, there was us. We really fit in.
Unfortunately, we didn’t seem to fit in the taxi. At least, not with our luggage. No matter how we organized, shimmied, shoved or yelled at the bags, they never actually fit in the trunk. Our taxi driver was confused as to why we had packed a fresh outfit for every fresh hour, of every fresh day. Him and I bonded over this mutual confusion. Finally, that good man, moved us out of the way, and organized the luggage himself. The trunk didn’t close. No worries, he just tied the trunk closed with some twine he pulled off a box of motor oil.
Then, and only then, did it get awkward. Because that is when we noticed another man standing nearby.
Now, it should be known that taxis are Mercedes Benz cars. Automatically, you are picturing shiny black cars, cruising along, carting the occupants in the lap of luxury. Don’t. Instead, picture your grandmothers first car. Now, forget the need for keys because unlike grandma, lots of taxi drivers don’t need them, since they have their wires conveniently crossed. To top it off, ignore how many seat belts are available. Then fit seven grown adults (and as many small children as are necessary) inside. This makes for a profound experience of luxury. Its just like sitting in the lap of luxury. Except, instead of luxury, you are generally sitting in another persons lap.
One the truck was (somewhat) securely closed, the taxi driver kindly pulled me aside. He explained that this man had been waiting for a taxi to El Jay, for an hour and a half. Since we had five people, he didn’t think we would mind allowing this man, to purchase the sixth seat. As someone who has waited many an hour for a taxi, I couldn’t tell that man no. So in we all got.
It took a while to situate ourselves. The four ladies sat in the back, along with everyones carry-ons and purses. Upfront, my BIL (brother-in-law) was getting very familiar and comfortable with our other passenger. Our other passenger got very comfortable preaching to us. Our taxi driver got comfortable rolling his eyes and swerving through traffic at a breakneck speed. Things were off to a good start.
It continued as we got caught in a traffic jam. Instantly, we began to sweat, not out of nerves, but because of the sweltering heat. It was hot. And the windows didn’t roll down. Add in the undistinguishable sermon coming from new found friend, in the front seat, and things were looking good.
Eventually we got out of traffic, but the heat didn’t seem to be going anywhere, except with us. So we kept sweating. Poor BIL in the front seat...we were barely out of traffic, when the preaching passenger fell asleep. On Crew’s shoulder. He was too nice to push him away, so instead he sat with the man to his right, and the gear shift to his left. Clearly, he had the best seat in the house.
After a very long hour and a half, we made it to El Jay a good, five pounds lighter. With our luggage in tow, we made it to the hotel, check in, and found out that yes, the beaches in El Jay are beautiful, indeed.
We enjoyed several days of beaching, wining, dining, and ancient Portuguese cistern touring. All was delightful and incredibly relaxing, so much so, that I was sad to leave. But we had a busy schedule to adhere to, and next on our list was the medieval city of Fez.
But for details on our Fez-ian adventure, you must wait, as I haven’t written that post yet. Perhaps, if you are lucky, I will write it soon. Until then, love to you all, my dear readers of late.