Tom is sick…No repellent anywhere…Two weeks and counting…A scary story from one year ago today…


As mentioned on prior posts, most of the vendors don’t allow photos of their wares. All the photos of products in the souks have been taken while on the move, rarely stopping and never being able to focus the camera, often shooting without looking into the lens. As a result, many of our photos taken in the souk are blurry.

Tom is rarely ill. Yesterday morning, he awoke with a horrible sore throat. Within hours he was coughing, feverish, and feeling miserable. 

Having already told Adil that we’d be dining out, we had no option but to do just that. The thought of the long walk to a restaurant was daunting when one is so ill. On top of that, stubborn man that he is, Tom insisted that we find insect repellent for me by checking out every pharmacy in the Medina.

A less crowded spot in a souk.

Although I kept telling him to forget about the repellent, he insisted we continue to walk in one direction and then off to another to each of the four pharmacies we’ve seen in the Medina. I wasn’t sick, but even I didn’t want to walk that far in the heat.

With the necessity of me staying covered wearing BugsAway clothing to avoid being bit by sand flies, it was scorching in the sun in the Big Square, wearing the jeans, long sleeve shirt and heavy socks.   

Tom, not feeling well, led the way as I followed behind. Usually, we hold hands as he drags me through the crowds. We agreed that hand holding made no sense with his illness.

His constant sniffing, coughing, and wheezing were not only hard to hear but also somewhat annoying. His determination to find repellent was equally annoying. What were sandfly bites compared to his current state of health? We were quite a pair.

This was one of those situations where a couple could easily become snappy and irritable. Somehow we made the hour-long search tolerable except for the hard reality…insect repellent doesn’t exist in Marrakech. 

It’s not unusual to see popular clothing styles in the souks when many items are imported.

Finally, we gave up looking and began the long walk back toward the restaurant. Oh, that we could find a place for carryout food to bring back in order to avoid his constant coughing, sneezing, sighing, and moaning in the restaurant. We picked a table in the darkened back room. I felt so badly for him, wishing there was something that I could do.

Returning to the riad after dinner after endless “barksters” trying to get us to buy something, we were more than relieved to be back. We hunkered down, watched a few shows, and for the first time since we left the US, we slept in separate bedrooms in an attempt to keep me from catching it. Oh, please. I’d better not catch this illness!

It’s odd to see these blue jeans in the souk. Many of the locals wear this style.

He slept in the yellow room in a twin bed, leaving the master bedroom which was already set up to reduce the infestation of the sand flies. Feeling hot from wearing Tom’s long sleeve shirt to bed, I didn’t sleep more than three or four hours. 

Also, easily able to hear him coughing and choking in the other room, I was frequently awakened by his sounds, all the while worrying about him. He doesn’t do “sick” very well, as is the case with most men (no gender discrimination intended).

The stands in the Big Square. On a relatively quiet mid-week late afternoon, the vendors waited for customers.

The rooster living next door didn’t start crowing quite as early this morning so I managed to sneak in extra 45 minutes of sleep until the pigeons began their usual wing-flapping into the open courtyard, cooing all the while.  Rooster crowing, wings flapping, cooing, rooster crowing, wings, flapping, call to prayer, rooster crowing…I lumbered out of bed more exhausted than when I went to bed last night. Tom was still sleeping.

Sadly, he’s feeling no better today but he’s not worse which is encouraging. Hopefully, in a few days, he’ll be on the mend.

These dried fruits and nuts create an eye-appealing display. Most of the nuts are unsalted. On the right is a tray of essential oils, quality undetermined.

Of course, we’ll dine in tonight continuing to do so until he returns to health. As for the repellent, forget about it! I’ll buy it when we get to Madeira where hopefully more products will be available. In the interim, the long sleeve bug repellent shirts, jeans, and socks with be my daily attire, heat, and all. Getting more bites on my hands is unavoidable. I have to live with this.

Two weeks from today, we’ll be leaving Morocco, ready to embrace our new home for the next two and a half months. OK. We’ll be ready.


Photo from one year ago today, May 1, 2013:

Not our photo. It was this type of knife that was slipped onto one of our plastic trays as they went through security in Barcelona. We were on a back-to-back cruise and had to get off the ship to later re-board. Of course, security pounced all over us, assuming it was our knife. Very scary situation. For details of Part 1 of the story, please click here.




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