Friday, September 23, 2016



House hunting...again.

Apparently, a month is enough time to drain most of the good will from my hosts.  Not sure why as I have done my best to be an agreeable guest rather than my normal cantankerous self.

My fixer, Abdul, said that in the nearby beachfront town ("Martil" pronounced "Mar-teen" - no I don't know why) there was a place for 2000d ($200).  He wanted a bigger cut.  Since his 15% is based on how much I pay, I agreed that he would get it.  I'll figure out something based on math and stuff later.  Probably just pay him 500-600d if it works out.

Anyway, we took the blue shared taxi out of town.  They put four people in the back seat and two up front.  In the bucket seat.  I got in the bucket seat and paid for three total people.  After we arrived.

That town looks nice.  Big, open streets and such.  Not that many people.  Enough stores and food place to keep me fed.  Great.  Apparently, it is only crazy busy two or three months out of the year.  The best time to rent is when nobody else wants to as they jack up the rates.

We went to the new building housing the rooms.  Third floor.  I'd made a big deal of not wanting anything higher than the second floor but didn't squawk about the third.  They are always trying to push the limits.

We saw too rooms.  One was 2000d and the other 3000d.  The more expensive one was about as nice but had an extra bedroom with a couple other beds.  Not needed at all.

But wait - that wasn't all of it.  Oh no.  This is Morocco.

The room we had gone all the way out there to see wasn't the room he was renting.  It was a 'similar' room.

"Would you see a horse and be told the one you were getting was similar to this one?" I asked.  I was irritated to be brought out there to not see the room.  And Abdul had only found one person who was renting.  I was thinking "Fail."  Now we have to go back tomorrow.

When I was getting out of the taxi, Abdul wanted money.  I gave him 50d ($5).  Naturally, he wanted more.  "For what?" I asked.  He was having problems coming up with reasons.  "We didn't see the room, we didn't get anything rented.  I'm not seeing any upside for me for this trip."

He said he understood.  I was irritated but figured the 50d would keep him in good graces.  Better than a total brush off.

Fortunately, I am in a rather good position right now.  If the room they are actually renting isn't good (or no wifi etc) then I can keep staying where I am.  If they have what I'm after at the new place (the room I was shown would have been super great) then I can move out there.  Yes, that would piss off the landlord at where I am staying because he did reserve the room for me but given the sharp drop off in service, I'm thinking "I could move or stay".

Either way, once I move I don't really see heading back to Teutoun.  It was OK but after a few days meh.

It's looking strongly like I will be stuck (with visa renewal in another month or so - that story later) in Morocco for awhile.  Before going to the states, I will try to decompress in Portugal.  Hopefully, they have less pickpockets there.  Oh - did I fail to mention that thus far in six weeks or less two cell phones have gone to the underworld here?  Yeah.  This will probably be my last trip to Africa for quite some time.


Probably best avoided.  The waiting time is anywhere from two weeks to three months.  After going to several, I got very lucky and found one.  But it isn't easy.


Shave and a haircut, 25d.  Yes, he was surprised about the fifty cent tip.  And very pleased.

Shave only, 10d.  Yes.  A dollar.

Breakfast - very simple - at a tea shop, 15d.

Bowl of miscellaneous food from hole in the wall place, 5d.

Warning!  Although they seem to know what dental floss is, nobody seems to stock it.

Dentist - just visiting, not including any work, reportedly 200d.

Beer - very small, 20d.

Dental cleaning - over two days, 400d.  Partial cleaning for 200d.

Tooth capping - ie replace most of the tooth with a fake one, 1800d, five treatments over five weeks.

Tooth filling - 300d.

Tooth xray - 100d.

Note that as in Nepal, they have the 'lucky money' superstition.  This is that the first money acquired during the day is lucky.  To refuse the first deal is 'unlucky'.  Buying expensive things early in the day may save you money if you know how to barter.

Real life bartering example:

Robe - initial price, 400d.  Some tourists would get it for 350d and feel good about it because they suck at bartering or whine that it 'makes them feel uncomfortable'.  To the locals, this means they are 'wealthy fools easily parted with their money and to be charged extra'.  200d would have been a reasonable price to get the robe at.  I'm told locals would have gotten it for 150d.  I got it for 100d because a) I didn't care if I got it or not, b) I'd set a price in my head and did not go up from it by even a dirham, c) "Lucky Money" and d) I am good at bartering.

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{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

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{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster | Thailand: Bangkok | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2018}} Ukraine: Kiev - Chernihiv - Uzhhorod

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