Safely back in Saidia

I cannot believe I have been back in Saidia a week ! It has flown as we’ve been so busy !!

For those of you that read the traumatic details of my flight to the UK, you will be relieved to hear that the flight back to Nador was nowhere near as distressing. Yes, it was an early start, having to be at Luton airport at 5am on a Saturday morning was possibly not the best way to start the weekend for either my mother or I. It did however ensure that I could get back to Saidia within one day, without the added expense of an overnight stay in a hotel anywhere. Easyjet were as usual (in my experience) a pleasure to fly with. Barcelona airport is definitely more interesting than Reus, thankfully so, as I had to spend five hours ‘land side’ waiting to check in for my ‘Jet4you’ flight to Nador. If anyone needs details of anything at that airport, feel free to ask, I know it intimately !

The flight to Nador was checked in in a timely manner. I was one of three Europeans on the flight, and the aircraft was full. I was relieved to sleep for the entire flight - I don’t even remember taking off !? Landing at Nador, the normal fiasco began. All the Moroccans clambering over each other to get off the plane. People running across the tarmac, only to be brought to a dead standstill by the ‘temperature booths’ that they have installed to prevent ‘swine flu’. Everyone had to pass through, single file to have their temperatures taken. Two white-coated guys were standing by - just in case anyone was seen to be heating up !? Queues for immigration, as per normal. I just cannot quite see why it invariably takes three times longer to pass into Morocco than any other country I have ever been to. Even Russia, China and Vietnam Immigration Controls were far quicker and simpler !?

Then the 'really' dangerous leg of the journey began. Nador Airport to Saidia - on a Saturday night, in a car. It was about 8pm when we left, and the roads were jam packed. Saturday night is a busy time, especially in the height of the summer. There are more tourists, wedding parties and nutters out and about ! Dodging the normal array of dogs running across the road, petrol smugglers with no lights, moped riders without lights or reflective clothing, random pedestrians wandering along the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, we slowly but surely made our way on the unlit roads back to Saidia.  

After the 10 day jaunt to the UK, I am now safe & sound back in Saidia, and I must admit, I am so glad to be back ! My trip to the UK was fabulous, don’t get me wrong. It was wonderful to see my friends and family. It was exciting to be able to wonder around shops and be able to buy ANYTHING I wanted or required. However, it really made me appreciate residing in Morocco. We might not have everything ‘on tap’, but it truly makes you appreciate everything we do have. Mainly freedom, with no stress. Lots of sunshine. Surrounded by generally happy people, with lots of cheap, fresh, seasonal produce. What more do you really need ??

It’s sort of strange to think that a year ago, we were on a treadmill in the UK. Running from our work to our leisure. Sinking in stressful situations. Wanting all the latest gadgets for the house and trying all the latest food advertised on TV. Being enticed by the ‘offers’ in the shops. Where is all that stuff now ? Mostly in our attic in the UK !? Just going to prove, we didn’t really need it in the first place!

I look forward to meeting you to swap stories.

Shani

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