Last night was a bit crazy. Howard and I ventured out on two separate occassions to the Kosher restaurant in town, the infamous "Palmier Club". First, we went to the Jewish quarter. After walking aimlessley with a less than ideal map, we realized that the synagogue and the restaurant were not there. We then went to the new city, Guiliz, where the restaurant was, supposedly. Our taxi driver took us on a wild goose chase for almost an hour, showing us the Palm Club, the Premier Club, and several other venues, but not the restaurant. Our map was not much help either. Ultimately, we had the driver drop us off at the city square, paid him reluctantly, and ventured off to a local restaurant for dinner. Needless to say it was frustrating.
It was particularly trying for Howard, who was sitting in the front seat and had to directly deal with our nutcase driver. After calming him down, we were able to grab some dinner at a local place. We had vegetarian Tajine, which is simply a stew that is quite common in Morocco (it has a cone-shaped lid). Here's a few photos:
The night markets at the town square, the Djemma al Fna, are incredible. The energy is quite high, with all kinds of entertainers, food and music. We walked around and saw snake charmers, people with exotic animals (like the monkey from last post), singing circles and even an interesting carnival-type game involving coke bottles (which Howard participated in). Here's some photos of the market (including one of a singing circle leader who was wearing a chicken on his head):
A quick note: The man with the chicken on his head insisted that Howard pay him following this photograph. Howard had no small coins left, and decided to yell at the man instead, saying "Photos are free". Enough was enough! We had been accosted by everyone for money for every reason known to man... Howard had broken out of his shell, with great confidence and furious anger. At first, I was scared, but then I realized he was on our side, so I was happy to see him fighting back...
As for the game Howard was playing, let me explain the rules. You need to use this fishing rod-type device with a donut-shaped metal ring on the end to pick up a bottle. We watched one guy consistently get the ring around the coke bottle, but not being able to yank the bottle into the air. Needless to say, this was a difficult, if not impossible task. Howard tried valiently, but failed to yank a bottle into the air within the alotted "6 minutes" (more like 15). Luckily, it was only 5 dirham... I'm sure some of our more crafty, engineering-type guys would be able to do this in no time flat (Oren and Jon, get started building the model)...
The next game involved two small sticks and a soccer ball. The sticks are placed down with the ball in between and then the ball is moved about a foot away. The contestant must kick the ball through the two sticks without them falling over. Now this, I know is impossible:
Today, we woke up and went on a 2nd wild goose chase to the Synagogue, hoping to find it. First, we passed the square in the morning, which was definitely a different feeling. We did come across this guy selling teeth, which is aparently a popular pastime in Marrakech. Pretty wild, what can I say:
This afternoon, we decided to cool off and hang out in the Riad, finishing up some laundry, etc. Following shabbat, we will be rushing to Dusseldorf tomorrow... Keep in touch.