The next morning everyone had flights around 10am except me, who flight was around 1:30. Nonetheless it felt better to travel in a group, as in addition to my backpack (now slimmed down to 20 lbs) I had a plastic tote bag that had about 26 lbs worth of presents and a carpet that was rather precariously taped up and its 1/4″ straps could readily slice through my shoulder muscles (I had a near decapitation incident when I tried putting the bag around my neck). We traveled en masse to the airport on the train, and made it through the bottleneck of security that had us waiting around for 45 minutes so 200 people could pass single file through a metal detector that I’m fairly certain wasn’t actually on, and then got to the terminal.
But, actually we got to A terminal, not THE terminal. Turns out Casablanca airport has several and mine was in a different place than the others. So, I told them I’d get my bags checked in and meet them in their terminal since I had a few more hours than they did. Until I discovered that in Morocco “check in 2 hours before your flight” means “check in NO MORE THAN 2 hours before your flight”. I was not able to check in for a few hours and had to sit with my luggage until 11:30 when I could finally dump the bags. The others had long since gone by then and I only hoped they weren’t concerned that I had never showed up. I had looked into changing my flight to go directly from Casablanca to New York, but it would have been around $800 so I decided to lump it and force myself to go to Paris.
The trip to Paris was uneventful, but I’ll tell you this, meal service happens SUPER-quickly during Ramadan, as probably fewer than half the people ate. I did feel a bit guilty eating in front of those fasting, but not guilty enough not to eat.
Nothing really worth noting happened on the rest of the trip except the exchange of dollars for Euros sucks, and that the hotel in Paris had a “microwave cafe” where you could buy frozen microwave dishes for a few dollars and they would nuke them for you. I thought that was pretty cool, though I opted for the “tomato and bacon” sandwhich myself.
I had about $18 worth of Euros that I needed to spend and about the only thing I could find to spend it on was candy. As a single roll of Mentos cost about the equivalent of $7, it wasn’t actually all that hard to spend up the money.
On the flight from Paris to JFK I somehow was given business class, so that was really sweet. I got off the plane and was met by my mother saying “I’m so happy you’re alive.”
Which about sums it all up, I guess.
Tags: Africa, Casablanca, Morocco, Paris, Travel