Sunday, February 27, 2011


I think Tennessee got it right---sometimes, regardless of the planning and contingencies, we have to depend on strangers.  And, mostly, if we're lucky, they're kind.

Sooooo, we're in Fez, Morocco, Stangers in a Strange Land (lots of lilterary references this morning), and Gary is sick as a dog.  A miserable, miserable cold---the stuffy head, nose-blowing (continual nose blowing), coughing, sneezing...and it's a stubborn one, hanging on and on and on.  Remember, we're travelling, in Morocco, lugging bags on and off the train, into the taxi,  on the street to the hotel ----which is on a narrow street no wider than a person--down hill.  Gary, all the while, hacking and blowing and sniffling got the picture.

We settle into a lovely Riad, guest house, Dar El Menia, and things begin to look up.  We like Fez better than Marrakech, and are beginning to feel more comfortable with the environment when it strikes....intestinal distress.  Poor Gary has eaten something and he's even more miserable than before.  We're in a third world country, public restrooms are...well, unpleasant, and he has visited many of them.  I'm checking for fever, which he does not have----but he sure has visited a lot of restrooms---you know, the foot-pad-type, often without, um, the necessities.  Have I drawn enough of a picture for ya?  Things were not happy in Fez for this household.

Gary did not feel better, in fact began to feel worse---how is that possible?  I'm thinkin' it might be time for a doctor---in Fez.  We asked Graham, the proprietor of Dar El Menia for a pharmacy, hoping to pick up some Pepto Bismo...maybe that would work??  and he sent us up the street.

IT'S SUNDAY...all the pharmacies are CLOSED...So we asked a policeman if he knew of an open French, which we don't speak, he said he could send us to an open pharmacy, by taxi, which would then return us to this very spot, if we were willing.  We had nothing to lose, and hoping a restroom wouldn't be necessary in the interim, we climbed into the taxi with fingers crossed.

Here's my favorite part---when we pulled up outside the pharmacy, the pharmacist came outside to wave down the taxi driver--THE POLICEMAN HAD CALLED AHEAD TO TELL HIM TO EXPECT US--I almost wept on the spot.

In Morocco, pharmacists don't need prescriptions to sell what we call prescription drugs--he said, as a poor country, the people couldn't afford doctors, so the pharmacists acted as doctors.  We received 3 medications all geared to eliminating intestinal distress and possible parasite problems.  Oh boy! 

Here's my second favorite part, the meds cost 91 dirham, 8 dirham to the dollar, equals ELEVEN DOLLARS....we would have spent 91 dollars in a heartbeat and not thought twice about it.

So my husband has been medicated, his trips to the restroom have diminished, he's not got a temperature, and he's sleeping and sleeping and sleeping.

It's hard to be sick away from home;  all we want is our own bed and hot tea and comfort.  It's scary to be sick away from home if you don't speak the language or know the medical system.  We do what we know, we ask for help, and hope for the best.  I am ever-thankful to the policeman on the corner (who was gone when we went back to thank him), the pharmacist who flagged down the taxi, Graham who pointed us in the right direction.  We were very dependent on the kindness of strangers, and being so, became less strangers in a land less strange.

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