vendredi 18 janvier 2008
le marchand de tapis
New Year's Eve can be ugly.
I was in the UK with family for Christmas and so staying on for new year meant either a) going to bed early and ignoring it; b) going to an awful family party where everyone wants to leave at 10.30, but feels compelled to stay and kiss cousins at midnight; c) going to a pub where, having paid through the nose to get in, you just want to leave straight away.
This is why as the clock struck midnight, I was to be found (with Best Friend) in a strange little bar by the harbour in Essaouira, Morocco - dancing with a fairly raggedy bunch of locals and the obligatory pair of bewildered Frenchies.
Quite the night, and it lasted well into the early hours, with me and Best Friend having reached the bottom quarter of the third bottle of Bacardi (it was all they had)... I'm sure you can imagine the scene. Naturally, I remembered very little of it the next morning.
The next day, we headed off for a walk along the city walls, ostensibly to get a bit of sea air into our lungs and to wake up, but really just to get away from the awfulness of the morning-after bedroom. Passing through the medina, it seemed that most of the merchants were taking it easy and not bothering us poor fool tourists. Except for one. A lop-sided six footer dressed up as a Touareg tribesman.
"You want to see my carpets? Where you from?" He said.
Then he did a double take.
"Hey meester dancer, how are your head today?".
Oh lord. Oh no.
"We dance together big time last night. You very good mover..."
As you'd expect, I showed him what a good mover I was by moving away from the carpets, quickly. When we turned the corner, we ran, choking back the howls of laughter as we went.
I mean really. Moroccan carpet sellers. I used to have standards.