When I get older and my kids ask me where I learned to drive stick, the answer will be one word, Morocco.
After an extremely long day of traveling where it seemed almost planned that Derek would have the best seat on the plane, and mine the worst we finally made it to Agadir, which was nothing to right home about. Although, we were warned that Agadir was bland, we did not expect what we saw, and vouched that despite our "smart room" (or so it was advertised) pool, (that was empty), and busy surroundings, (that were deserted) we decided we needed to get out of Agadir, fast. That simple decision led us to "Omar" our strictly french speaking car rental man. After a quick conversation, in which Derek and I understood nothing, we were brought to our proposed car. We quickly learned that the option was to figure out how to drive a stick, or, take the bus which resembles a supersized version of a rust covered 1984 Buick Lesaber with men of patchy facial hair hanging out from all angles. Although, Derek wanted to take the rusty old bus, over my stick driving skills, I convinced him otherwise and we were off (sort of). But, after a strange version of a grilled cheese for lunch, the same CD (Carlon) 4 times, and 200 kilometers, we had made it to Essaouira. Essaouira is a walled in city, in the middle of the Moroccan coast. The streets are narrow, and no cars are allowed, so we had to park our car outside the walls. When I say park our car, I do not mean a parking lot or any organized form of parking. In reality it is a narrow street in which men in crazy outfits tell you to stop and park in there "parking area." There was no way I was going to attempt this parking experience, so I got out of the car and had Igiziel do it for us. The second we stepped out of the car and paid our 40 Durhum ($4.50) we were taken by the hand and had no choice but to go with him on a "hotel shopping" adventure in which he would take us to various hotels, show us the room and then have the choice to stay or go. We finally found an amazing place for about 300 Durhum ($30) a day, where we met Mike and Stephon, from Germay. We plan on going "adventuring" with them tomorrow but for now we are just hanging out Moroccan style on some pillows on the rooftop terrace of our hotel in Essaouira. Pictures will come soon we promise.