Finding Paradise (chapter 12)

A picture my son took when he was in Morocco — he edited the sky behind. :)

Thursday 9th of July

The next day I went through the same ritual.

Hotel. No ticket.

It was unbelievable! I called the Embassy — they didn’t really have an answer but they informed me that they were in contact with the hospital that Ray was in. They confirmed what the doctor had said about Ray having a nervous breakdown too, I wasn’t too sure it was a breakdown. What I never knew at the time was that nobody had contacted my family. The embassy had contacted Ray’s parents and they in turn had called mine and explained the situation that Ray was in — but they had no news to give my mother about me.

What was I going to do about the ticket?

I couldn’t tell Ray. I couldn’t tell him that I might have to leave him there and get on a plane without him. I couldn’t stay, because I didn’t have enough money to buy another ticket, and it would just be completely illogical. I just couldn’t stay.

I had had enough!

After visiting Ray and going back to the village, I went to see Jerry again: He had kind of taken over from where the New Zealand couple had left off, and was helping me out. He agreed with me that my staying there would be of no use, and would just cause more problems. He said that I should pack and get all Ray’s stuff together too. I hadn’t even thought about that.

He came back to the room and helped me pack. I couldn’t carry all the things alone, so somewhere along the line, it was agreed that he would spend the night with me in the hotel. He was quite a character and kept a very positive attitude, I liked him. I went and said goodbye to Muhammad, then Jerry and I set off for Agadir.

We booked ourselves into a hotel, one of the most expensive ones. It was early afternoon and the city was full of life. We decided to go for a walk around the souk. Ramadan had been over for over a month and we hadn’t visited anywhere. We hadn’t really had any money though until recently. I was sick of the beach and I wasn’t interested in smoking weed 24/7 and hanging around with people that wanted to do the same.

I had come here for a new experience — well I certainly got that.

After all that had happened though, I felt guilty walking around the souk. Jerry thought it might be good for me to buy some things and get my mind off Ray bit. It was impossible to get my mind off him.

I really wanted a tagine dish, though. I did actually consider buying one, but it would have been impossible to carry, and would most likely get broken. They didn’t have the proper rustic ones either. Just the decorative tourist ones. I looked at the scarves I had been considering buying at one point, the ones with coins hanging from them. They were not real coins, but they were still quite pretty. The Moroccans in the souk would speak to me in Amazigh or Arabic. It was quite funny really. I thought they were doing it on purpose just to tease but some of them said I actually looked Moroccan, and I kind of do. Quite short and dark, not like your typical blonde blue eyed Brit.

Jerry told me not to buy the scarf as they held painful memories for him.

Those of you who travelled to Morocco during the 80s will probably remember the large illuminated lorries, lit up like christmas trees. I don’t know if they still have them, but when we were there, they were all over the place. Jerry said he had been travelling with a girl by car and they hit one, head on. The girl fractured her skull in the accident and died almost immediately. She had been wearing one of those scarves and her brains had ended up in it. So he didn’t like them. Yeah…I could understand that. So I didn’t buy one, just to be on the safe side, I had been jinxed enough. He suggested millions of other things to buy but I wasn’t interested. At one point I thought he might have been on a commission!

After we went to the souk he took me to see Nigel and the nurses. I didn’t really want to but he insisted.

Nigel looked all cow-eyed. I could see that he knew, that I knew what he had done. I didn’t want to make any scenes and just explained to him briefly about Ray’s breakdown. He told me I was strong to be able to cope with it all.

‘Ha ha!’

He couldn’t hear the circus in my head. I wasn’t sure how much coping I had left. I knew that at one point in time I would have to pop. To cry, scream or do something normal, other than just cope. I had to wait for the right moment though.

I couldn’t pop in front of him.

He told me that Ray had been through something similar once in England, after taking acid for days on end. He had locked himself away in his room for two weeks. Nice. It would have been great to have known all this before I came to Morocco, it might have influenced my decision somewhat. It is amazing how we can think we know somebody, but we don’t. We never really know anybody. Some of us don’t even know ourselves. We make the mistake of thinking that just because we share common interests with somebody that we are similar. Couldn’t be further from the truth; each of us is a whole universe in itself. When those universes collide all anything can happen.

Nigel seemed to think there was something cooking with Jerry and I, but that was not the case, he looked at me accusingly, as if to say. ‘So you are shacked up with him now then? Tart’.

We didn’t stay too long. He creeped me out.

Afterwards we went for dinner. I have no idea what I ate, or if I even ate it. No idea what we talked about or what the restaurant was like or any other details really.

Only one.

On our way back to the hotel we were followed by a Moroccan man.

“English pigs!” He shouted after us.

“Piss off!” shouted Jerry back at him. He must have really taken offense, because he was Scottish. He didn’t like getting called English.

The Moroccan was persistent.

“I cut your throat, I kill you!”

Jerry assured me if he would have been alone and not in the presence of a lady he would have ‘kicked the shit out of him’. I wasn’t so sure though. I actually would have liked to have seen that and was tempted to challenge him, just so I could join in. When we arrived at the hotel the guy tried to follow us inside, shouting obscenities at us. Jerry told the doorman that he had been following us and that he had really upset me. Although, I think Jerry was more upset than I was; I was on auto-pilot now, nothing could touch me.

We had a double room with two single beds. I remembered Ray saying that Jerry just wanted to rob us and I started to get paranoid about it and I hid the walkman under the bed.

Tomorrow was the big day! Jerry would be coming with me to get the ticket in the morning and then we would go and get Ray from the hospital. That also made me paranoid. I started to think that Ray might be completely off his head and start wandering around the plane and open the doors or something stupid. I wasn’t sure I could cope with that. I just couldn’t think about it. Tomorrow was another day.

I got into bed and said goodnight to Jerry and I fell asleep in no time at all.

That was my last night in Morocco.

Chapter 13

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Artist, Portuguese teacher, Singer / Songwriter, Writer and Philosopher…kinda…

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Amanda Gleaves

Amanda Gleaves

Artist, Portuguese teacher, Singer / Songwriter, Writer and Philosopher…kinda…

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