Monday morning. I woke early to check the situation. My flight via France had been cancelled. “Well at least thats saved me £600”, I thought to myself. The decision to go with the flight via france was a tough one. I wanted to stay calm, trust in my airline and just enjoy the time in Marrakesh, however long. A simple philosophy really but one I like. I take part of the responsibility for this situation because I was aware that there was some risk before traveling. My airline, the Moroccan Government and the British Government also need to take some responsibility to make good and safe decisions and communicate them with all parties. In my mind, if everyone saw it like that there wouldn’t as much panic and jumping over each other to get to the front of the que tactics going on. I was torn, I believed in a calm, considered approach but knew that in reality I needed to be more ruthless and assertive. I had a strong suspicion that there wouldn’t be enough planes to get everybody home this week. If I wanted to be on one I had to play the game. So I did.
The airline’s advice was now stating that all people wanting to get a rescue flight should book online or go to the airport. Online wasn’t working so it looked like time to pack up again and get to the airport. Taxi prices continued to rise over night it seemed! I made a good effort and got them down to yesterdays price. Boom! This time the airport was on another level of chaos. I have never seen one so busy. The que for my airline was the largest in the building. Maybe 500 people long. I went to the toilet, got a bottle of water and reluctantly joined the mass of people. I was there for about 45 mins before I realised that there was nobody at the desk! What a fecking idiot. Do you know what makes me an even bigger idiot? I stayed for another 2 and a half hours. I didn’t really know what else to do and it was getting harder to get a taxi here without re-mortgaging. I just waited with everyone else. The trouble with that is it does get you down and you start to become like all of the people around you. Moaning and blaming and whinging about it all. I agree that it would have been good to be able to speak to someone from the airline about what the plan was. I think the truth is that the airline had no idea and was making said plan while we were waiting in line. I went to leave but just sat outside for a while longer. One part of me thought I should just let it be and go and make the most of the opportunity I had in front of me (Marrakesh) and the other thought that I should stay at the airport in case anything happens. I went with the former. While it was worrying that I might have to stay in Morocco for the foreseeable future I was also in an amazing city that I had wanted to visit for a long time. I would keep on eye on things online and I knew my family would do the same (all heavily involved by now). I should just make the most of it while Ive got it. I went back in my most expensive taxis yet. The Moroccan’s don’t miss an opportunity.
A strange thing happened on the way back. We were approaching a reasonable sized round about. On the roundabout was a motorbike pulling a trailer (and thats not the strange thing). The driver stoped and began shouting at someone behind him. He gets off of his bike and the 2 men start arguing in the middle of the road. Nothing can pass. Cars just wait and beep their horns. The 2 men ague for a few seconds and then they have a hug. All over I thought. No, they keep chatting as though they were down the pub. They eventually move on, at their own pace though. I love it here but I couldnt live here.
When I got back I went straight out to see some more of the city. The souks were busy so after a while I retreated to the Café I had been to yesterday. I ordered a coffee and then realised that in all the chaos I hadn’t eaten a meal since breakfast the day before. I ordered a pizza and devoured it. I don’t actually think it was very nice but did the job. I sat for a long time and just watched the world go by. I booked a trip for the next day to see some waterfalls. Paid a cheap price it turns out. It would be nice to get out of this busy city for a day.