Winding down our time in Marrakech.. Sexist steaks in Morocco?…A year ago treasure of the ancient world…

The ATM is near the entrance to the Medina.

Last night, we headed out to the souk to make our way to one of the few ATMs in the Medina, one closer to the souk and another close to the exit to the Medina, quite a walk.

We’re not intimated with long walks. With the continuing necessity for me staying covered up to avoid being bitten by sandflies, the walk in the sun at 93F, 34.4C was challenging. The small bottle of relatively ineffective insect repellent has proved of little value, now with the bottle almost empty. At US $25 there’s no sense in purchasing another bottle. 

Exiting the souk to an outdoor area in the Medina.

It has worked to keep my hands from being bit further but there wasn’t enough in the tiny bottle to cover my entire body every day. Thus, the necessity of wearing jeans, a long-sleeved BugAway shirt, and heavy socks are my mode of dress through our remaining time in Morocco. Tomorrow, the temperature will be 104F, 40C. 

Last night, I wore a long cotton dress to bed topped with a long sleeve shirt. The two bites I got on Thursday kept me awake most of the night with my knee and thigh both swollen, red, hot, and pulsating.

At the entrance to another souk.

I tried everything we had on hand including a jar of prescription cortisone cream that I found in the prescription bag. Nothing helped. I didn’t scratch having learned weeks ago that it merely prolongs the discomfort. One might think, “Get a grip. It’s just a sandfly bite!”

But, these are no little bites. I can only compare these bites to the types of discomfort from getting a horsefly bite years ago on my hand which swelled to the size of a baseball mitt, painful and itching for weeks.

We took advantage of walking in any shaded areas.  Friday, which is the Islamic holy day, the souks and Medina are less crowded.

Enough about that. We continued our walk to the closer ATM only to discover it was “closed.” Our only alternative was the walk through the Big Square in the sun to the other ATM. 

We have yet to pay the household staff for the second portion of their tips before departing, requiring a few ATM visits. The machines only dispense MAD 2000 per visit (US $249.99) certainly not enough for tips for all four staff members, the cart guy to bring our luggage to the road, and the taxi fare and tip for the ride to the airport.

Undercover at the ATM where there are multiple machines.

We always attempt to be left with no local cash when leaving each country with the outrageous exchange rates once outside the country in which the money was issued. Monday, we’ll go out again for more cash and dinner since we plan to stay in today and tomorrow due to the extreme heat.

With only two remaining dining options in the souk, we headed back to Café Arabe, where I’d found the noodle in my food last week. This time, I ordered a plain grilled steak and a side of butter sautéed vegetables, not cooked in the reused pasta water. Our usual waiter hadn’t forgotten last week’s faux pas agreeing to cook the vegetables himself.

The ATM stations are not guarded as they were in Kenya and South Africa.  Surprisingly, the Medina and souks are safe during the day with guards at various locations. Of course, one must take the usual precautions against pickpockets.

We’ve noticed an oddity when we’ve both ordered filet Mignon in Moroccan restaurants. As a female, I always get the smaller steak, and each time we’ve ordered I’ve forgotten to ask for the man-size steak. Eyeballing Tom’s larger steak, he always cuts off a portion of his for me. 

When eating only a small steak and veggies, it’s hardly satisfying. He usually has chips (fries), and bread to fill him up. Plus, I prefer rare to his medium-rare.  His larger steak is usually rare to my small medium-rare.

The heat of the scorching sun will only increase over the next week.

Soon, we’ll cook our own steaks to perfection in Madeira on the grill on the veranda overlooking the ocean. Last night, contemplating the excitement of cooking for ourselves, I made a grocery list on the Grocery Tracker app on my phone, a nifty app I’ve used over the past several years.  Here’s the link to download this excellent free app.

As I write here now it 11:30 am, later than the usual earlier time of 10:00 am, Morocco time. Tom’s sitting beside me in the salon listening to his favorite radio show from Minnesota, US, Garage Logic Sports, an adjunct to his usual show, Garage Logic.  Here’s the link to the podcast.  At the moment their discussing the NFL draft picks for the Minnesota Vikings, the only sports team he follows. 

A garden shop in the Big Square.

Later I’ll continue to listen to Day Five of a free 12-day seminar with many of the speakers espousing the benefits of my life-changing diet for diabetics and for those with many other health conditions. If you or someone you know may be interested in this free three hour per day podcast, please click here

I should have mentioned this sooner since they’re already into Day Five but with seven more days remaining, much more valuable information is available. These are many of the top doctors and medical professionals in the world on the topic of inflammation, the source of most diseases.

That’s it for today, folks. Have a wonderful day as many of you ramp up to celebrate Mother’s Day tomorrow.

Photo from one year ago today, May 10, 2014:

We were surprised as we stood looking a The Great Sphinx of Egypt one year ago today. It was much smaller than one might expect. I purposely left the tops of two tourist’s heads as a frame of reference for the size. For details from that date, please click here.