Georgia came home in December so we had an old style Christmas. Christmas day at ours, Boxing Day at Jakis Sisters.
A friend of Georgia’s came back from OZ for her sister’s wedding and obviously she met up with George and as part of the conversation George must have mentioned that we’d had the Bungalow valued.
Soon after, Jaki had a message on Facebook asking if we wanted to sell the place to Georgia’s friends parents?
We offered them the opportunity to come and see the place and the next thing, we’d sold up.
So the last few months has seen us frantically trying to find some thing to buy in a market place that has almost nothing available.
We’ve now agreed to buy an identical Bungalow to ours (prior to renovation) back in Frampton Cotterell. The down side is that it’s only 2 bedroom and there are 3 of us plus all our worldly goods.
The sale/ buying process is still on going but we expect to move some time in September.
So, what does this have to do with Marrakech?
Well, Once we knew when we’re moving we could think about a holiday.
Our plan was to take the Camper across to Santander and spend the school summer holidays touring the North Coast of Spain. When we looked at prices the Ferry crossing alone was £1000+ and the site fees would be at their peak as its high season. So we decided to look for something else.
Greece was an obvious choice given their current situation and I’m sure additional tourist income would be most welcome.
However, we decided on Marrakech.
We called into our local Thomas Cook who found us a few options at about £1500 but a bit of research on the Internet reduced this to £1000 For 10 nights with a suite at the Riad Charai, in the northern part of the Medina plus airport transfers.
So we booked the Riad through Bookings.com @ £410 for 10 nights.
Airport transfer with Holidaytaxis.com about £30 return.
Two seats on Easy Jet from Bristol including allocated seating (which apparently includes ‘Speedy Boarding” some thing we didn’t know until we got to the baggage check in desk and they told us we needn’t have queued) At about £300 each.
Now we’re here, sat in the shade having eaten breakfast around the pool, though our first day, as you can imagine, was as event filled as ever. I’ll get on to that in detail later.
We booked a Taxi to pick us up and take us to the Airport which isn’t an easy task as South Gloucester Council, Highways Department have, in their wisdom decided to dig up every route out of Winterborne and Frampton Cotterell, creating an island environment that Bear Grills would be proud of.
So, our 40 minute journey took 90 minutes which was ample time for our driver to get into Rant mode. Initially this was harmless enough.
“What really annoys me” he began, before kicking off about the traffic, other drivers, the cost of running a Private Hire business and a rather harrowing story about Gypsies, which is worth a mention.
He apparently had a pick up from a pub but when he got there the customers were 4 Gypsies, 2 men, 2 Women who had been drinking and wanted to carry on drinking in his taxi whilst he took them home. When he refused to allow them to drink in the cab he was, he says, subject to verbal abuse and threats. He asked them to get out of the Cab but they refused and he was forced to take them home, where they got out and refused to pay.
“They threatened to knife I to Death” he told us in broad Bristolian.
Now he has a pathological hatred of all Gypsies ( or Pikey’s as he called them).
I felt a certain amount of sympathy for him given the situation he had been through but I sensed where this was going.
” I told em to Ferk off back to Ireland” he told us. Presumably from the safety of his swiftly moving Cab.
This theme soon developed into something I’ve become increasingly familiar with of late.
Our Driver soon expanded his views on Immigration, the amount of Foreigners here and the issues in Calais. He ended his diatribe by telling us that Enoch Powell had it right, at which point I had no option but to respond.
I reminded him that the NHS and other organisations relied on the cheap labour of migrants to provide us with services we need as English people don’t seem to want to fill those vacancies.
So, for the third time in as many days I’ve encounters Racism.
In the Barbers recently a customer gave me the benefit of his wisdom and suggested the British Army should be deployed to Calais where they should “Shoot any NIGNOGS trying to get into England”.
Then, in the Pub Garden I over heard a chap I know say to his mate. “look, Theres a load of Pakis, what they doing here”?
I honestly thought we had moved on from this type of language. Perhaps the poison of the Daily Mail ( other racist papers are also available) is giving permission to people to revert back to the language of the 1960’s?
So here I am sat in a Riad in Marrakech, North Africa, a Muslim Country, enjoying the hospitality and culture of people who see me as a foreigner.
There are risks here. We Westerner are seen as rich and ripe for exploitation. There are Pick pockets ready to steal our money. Groups of mainly young men who hope to trick you into parting with your cash through various means.
There is even the risk of robbery.
I hope though if any of these ills befalls us, I won’t hate a whole Nation or a whole religion. I will cuss and curse the low life that parts me from my hard-earned loot but there are thieves and rogues in any country anywhere in the World, including good old Blightey.
Only time will tell if I have a touch of the Taxi Driver in me or if I am, after all the person I think I am.
You will be one of the first to know.