Chilled to the bone…49F (9C this morning)… What do we wear?…Only women will get this!…New photos!

This cat found comfort sitting atop the seat of a parked motorbike.

One of the aspects of traveling the routes we’ve chosen has been to avoid cold weather. When we researched temperatures this time of year in Morocco, we’d never expected it to be as cold as it’s been.

Luckily, the sun was out again as it filtered through the slats in the ceiling of the souk.

Keeping in mind that we’re almost living outdoors with the open courtyard, the largest room in the riad around which all other rooms are situated, it’s not unlike living in Kenya in the outdoor living room instead, with the unbearable heat, humidity, and mosquitoes.

This shop’s specialty was hand-carved wood chess boards and pieces.

Definitely, I’d rather be chilled than in scorching heat and humidity. Its a lot easier to bundle up than take off clothing to cool down which hardly seems to help at all.

Clothing shops are popular in the souks as tourists strive to bring Moroccan styles back home. From what we’ve seen, the locals buy their garments from shops in the side streets away from the tourist areas at more affordable prices.

The trouble is, we have a few warm items with us having not planned for such chilly weather. Tom has one lightweight zippered sweatshirt and I have two long sleeves warm BugsAway shirts, one white, one pale green, which I seem to switch off every other day. The 70 washings guaranteed to maintain the bug deterrent features of these two shirts will be washed away before I ever get to go on another safari. 

Bangles and the little pots are commonly sold items.

The only other long-sleeve items we have are our two long-sleeve BugsAway cotton safari shirts which we each often wear when we go out under our jackets of which we each have two, one parka and one slightly heavier weight.

One could get confused trying to decide on pairs of sandals with endless affordable offerings from around the souk. 

In Kenya, after donating more of our clothing I left myself with only a few pairs of jeans shorts to wear during the three months in South Africa. After wearing them every day they began to wear out and I noticed the fabric thinning, wearing through at certain points. One was awfully low slung and the other not as much.

Colorful small tables used in home décor.

As a typical woman in my old life, I’d have gone shopping, trying on 15 pairs of shorts, to end up purchases a few for the new season. Since we’ve been gone 17 months without shopping, I currently have a dilemma.  Styles have changed, sizing may have changed and its no longer as simple as going online and purchasing a few pairs of shorts to be sent when they may not fit. 

Pillows in Morocco are filled with very heavy durable material making them rather heavy. With the numerous pillows where we sit in the salon, we’ve found it difficult to move around, they are so heavy.

You may think…go shopping! Ha! I dare anyone to find a pair of jean shorts in Morocco, respectably long enough to go out in public at age 66, that fit properly when most women’s pants are typically low slung anomalies. Now, I can live with a bit of a low slung pair of pants but not those with a zipper only as long as my thumb!

Leather handbags, carryon bags, and other travel bags are popular in the souks.

Knowing we’ll be receiving a box of supplies while we’re in Madeira for which we’ll be adding the new camera when it comes out on April 20th, now is the time for me to figure out a solution to include in the box.

Several shops comparable to a boutique type store are found in the various courtyards between the souks, as in the case of this store where we spotted this bronze horse.

Why only jeans shorts? They are durable, can be worn several times without looking ratty, don’t wrinkle and above all, are comfortable. I donated all the khaki shorts I’d originally included in our luggage after wearing them only a few times. For me, jeans are my first choice for long pants, capris, and shorts. Style was long ago sacrificed for practicality and comfort.

Bead and jewelry making supplies.

Looking online for a few hours, I became frustrated, feeling that I’d never get a pair of shorts that would be guaranteed to fit. Of course, I put my little brain to work on a solution. Boom! As often happens during the night, I had an idea.

Almost every day, except for washing day, I’ve been wearing a pair of Old Navy jeans that I love. I’m not an easy fit; tall, relatively lean and with overly long legs, a 35″, .89m inseam. Try to find that in a country where the average woman’s height is 5’2″, 1.57 m! Old Navy has always had jeans that work for both my size and height. 

Cute puzzle made n the shape of camels.

Yesterday, after unzipping my pants, Tom read off the labels on the inside of my jeans including the style name, style number, and the size. Immediately going online to Old Navy, I was excited to find they still carry the exact same style and size. On sale for US $49, MAD 399, each they were down to US $34.50, MAD 281 each. I ordered two pairs in varying shades.

When they arrive in a few months, I’ll cut one pair off for shorts and the other pair for capris, rolling up the ends into narrow cuffs. Having done this on many occasions with old jeans, I have no qualms that I can easily do this again using one of the few pairs of sharp scissors we have on hand.
The dark, busy souk is a challenge to navigate when crowded with locals, tourists, bicycles, donkeys with carts, hand-pulled carts, and motorbikes.

Problem solved. I placed the order for the two pairs of jeans and a few more dressy looking tee-shirts suitable for dining out. My total order was US $101, MAD 823, with free shipping to our mailing service in Nevada, USA.  Of all things, an hour later I received a coupon for US $40, MAD 326, as a reward for my purchase if I was willing to spend another US $100, MAD 815, between now and May 5th. Hopefully, I can convince Tom to use this credit for himself. 

Of course, anything new we receive requires disposing of an equal weight of things we already have to keep the weight of our luggage acceptable to airline standards. Fortunately, I have already planned what I’ll toss before we’re ready to leave Madeira on July 31st.

This is what I should be admiring as opposed to cookies I can’t eat.

In the interim, I will continue to wear the heck out of the clothing of which I plan to dispose of. Tom also wears the same tee shirts and button-up shirts over and over, as you’ve seen in our photos with a plan to wear them out as well. Yes, I get sick of looking at his same tee shirts, although clean, day after day, as he most certainly does mine.

Who’d ever thought we’d be planning and contemplating the long-term wear-ability of a pair of shorts or a tee-shirt? In our old lives, if a tee shirt looked worn, it became a rag or was plopped into the trash with nary a thought. Now, I can spend 10 minutes looking at a tee-shirt with the intent of determining its fate…keep or save…keep or save.  Ha!

We giggled when we saw this traditional phone booth.

In a funny way, I enjoy this triviality of our lives. Fashion-forward in my old life. Fashion free in my new life. I think I like it better this way.

Today, we’ll be going outside the Medina with more photos to share tomorrow. I’d hoped to take a video of the birds flying inside the house early this morning. Alas, hardly any birds flew inside this morning although I was waiting with camera in hand. Perhaps, another day.

Photo from one year ago today, March 31, 2013:

A year ago today, we were living in Belize and it was Easter day.  Having few photos from our old lives when neither of us enjoyed taking photos, I’d posted a few older dessert photos on that date, including this butterscotch pie I’d made for Tom using 12 egg whites for the meringue and a homemade rolled crust. I have posted this photo in the past and apologize for the repeat if you’ve seen this before. This link will take you to that date and other desserts from our old lives, including Tom’s custom-made retirement party cake.  Please click here for the link.

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