First Summer Trip – complete

So that trip is a wrap. I can’t believe we planned it all, booked it, executed and we had NO problems. None. Well, a minor hiccup or two here and there. MINOR. Like the time we landed at Tegel in Berlin, and walked right past the itty bitty baggage claim looking for passport control. We had to wait an hour for our bags to be delivered to us.  There was NO passport control. Easy mistake. Apparently it happens all the time the nice man said. I still feel shocked when I repeat that. No passport control. WTF?????

Anyway. London was glorious if not a bit weird, in the sense that I didn’t do any conventional sightseeing. Except in Waitrose. When you live in Morocco – going into a grocery store is the BEST adventure. It’s like we had never seen food before!

We met my BFMOM (brother from my other mother) who is living in London and took a walk through Richmond Park. Crazy to know there is a park that is 2,500 acres in the middle of London. We saw a ton of deer which was awesome. Had a pub lunch and then Kate and I had to run off so we could prepare for the reason for our entire journey – Adele at Wembley Stadium. She was amazing! Totally worth the trip! And as fate would have it, we ended up seeing her last show since she had to cancel due to vocal injury. Sad for her.

Mostly in London, transit took over the rest of the trip for me. Getting to and from Wembley was a long one yes, but it was so incredibly efficient and painless I was thrilled. The next day not so much as I set out on my own to meet friends from Canada at a pub downtown. Long story short I was 45 minutes late, beaten, discouraged and exhausted. Probably exhausted from a month of travel, but still. Lunch was FANTASTIC. So great to see good good friends and supporting my mantra that you never say goodbye to people as I sat chatting happily with Michelle whom I have not since in 12 years.

Returning to Marrakech was also painless although I was a little worried for the heat. That said I’m writing this at an outdoor patio with nary a drop of sweat, enjoying an ice coffee at 1pm. Or 12pm. No one knows.

The clocks changed back Saturday / Sunday overnight you see. Its a Morocco specific time change to accommodate Ramadan and its very “haphazard” shall we say.  So between all the devices and “official” time keepers on the Internet, no one knew what time it was. It was a weird day with people posting on FB “what time is it?” And getting different answers! Ha.

I had some surreal moments back in my apartment. I’ve been in a long series of other people’s apartments so the shower was sort of new (and a comfortable relief). I had to look around for things I had forgotten about. Get “re-situated” if you will.

But today is another day and everything is back to normal. I’ve unpacked for the moment. Salam’ed and bislamah’ed with all my local favorite hanout people and security guards, who were visibly happy to see us back in the hood. That’s nice!

Now I set about repacking. Off to Canada soon. I’m also preparing for my return in September with my sister and niece not far behind. Planning for my time at home with my favorite people. Looking forward to welcoming a special guest. Tripping out west for more visiting and sightseeing, and then some time to relax and be Canadian for a bit before returning to my homeland. It just goes to show you that the more things change, the more they remain the same. I have lived in Africa for almost 2 years now and still I maintain my once a year visit to Banff. Not bad I’d say.

On the approach from London I was a little nervous. Not going to lie. I was sort of ambivalent about coming back. The challenge with going away is always how you feel coming back. You can’t predict it and you can’t fake it. Whenever you leave a new “home” and then return to it, there is a moment where your monkey brain takes over and determines how you REALLY feel about being back. And if you don’t feel positive, it can be a disaster in the making. Trust me.

So I was a little nervous. And truth be told I remained entirely ambivalent through the first day, safe in my little nest with my things, my love, my own little pod.

But then I came out this morning to get groceries and there it was…..the smile that only the heart can conjure. That feeling in the pit of my stomach that I’m home. And damn happy about it too!

Just to reinforce that I am in fact in the place I am meant to be, I walked into Carrefour (the grocery store) and what do I hear piped into the air around me……..”HELLO  from the other side…….” I don’t think I have ever noticed English music in Carrefour before. Definitely a sign that I am where I’m meant to be. Talk about a full circle.

(It’s a savage disappointment to me that I couldn’t work in some of my new Aussie vocabulary, like cut lunch and windcheater.)



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