Marrakech, in the dark, in a cab


Marites and I came back to Marrakech briefly today, I went to see the doctor (who told me to get an MRI when I get home and prescribed some heavy duty pain killers for me), and then we decided to have dinner in a well known Moroccan restaurant here (that I had been to last week with my friends). They have two locations, but one is within walking distance, so being a little tired we decided on that one. I called the restaurant and made a reservation, and even called back to order their special lamb dish for 2 that you have to order in advance. We walked to the restaurant and arrived dutifully at 8pm in time for our reservation when we noticed that the doors were closed. Approaching them, we saw a sign that said they were closed on Tuesdays. I called the restaurant and they told me that I was at the wrong one, and that they would hold our table for us. We then tried to flag a cab, who quoted us an outrageous fare. Then another one. Then another one. We called the restaurant back to make sure they had given us the right address, it seemed quite far on the map. Finally, we found a really nice cab driver named Abdul who actually just put on his meter, something that never happens here in Marrakech. He drove us to our restaurant, and on the way there, all the lights went out in that part of the city and we arrived in total darkness. The restaurant was still serving luckily, but by candlelight. For the first part of our meal it was very romantic and dark, and then the lights came back on about 20 minutes into it. Abdul had even given me his number and offered to come pick us back up at the restaurant, so we called him at the end and he came to get us and take us back to the place we are staying. I was so surprised by how great he had been that I asked if I could give his number to my friends here, and he told me that I could, but that he was unemployed at the moment and only driving his friends’ cabs when they were not in use, so it was very uncertain he would even be available. We tipped Abdul especially well both coming and going (it was still a better deal than what the others were quoting us, even though being almost double the meter) and said our goodbyes. All in all a lovely, serendipitous evening.