Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gratitude, day 319.

Ryan Air is cheap but they nickel and dime the heck out of their tickets. If you want to choose your own seat, you pay. If you don't pay in advance for a checked bag, you pay. For every kilo your checked bag exceeds the max weight, you pay. Pretty sure if you blink too hard while checking your bag, you pay for that too.

And not printing your boarding passes in advance costs a whopping €20 ($33ish) per ticket, even when your actual ticket is only $48. No big deal - when you have easy access to a printer. But when you're us...

Our only mission in Meknes today (other than finding corn pancakes and buying another kilo of oranges) was to find a way to print our boarding passes for Monday's flight. Twenty minutes, three very helpful fax shop ladies, two nice hotel guys, one English-fluent copy center gal, and four dirham ($0.50) later, we had our Ryan Air boarding passes. Two copies, in fact. You know, just in case.

Fortunately Meknes is a big city. If we'd had to print something in Merzouga we would've had to go to Rissani - 30km away via a 52 dirham ($6.50) round trip taxi - and it would've taken at least two hours.  (Kinda like when we did actually have to go to Rissani for an ATM because the guidebooks don't warn you that Merzouga is ATM-less.)

Us and our "first world" problems. "I have to go to the lobby to get wifi?" "I have to wait for the water to heat up again before I can take a hot shower?" "I only get one cup of coffee with breakfast?" "I can't charge my iThing on the train?" "I have to print my boarding pass to Spain ahead of time?"

Our first night in Rabat, we went to dinner with a friend and his Moroccan friend. We were talking about where we'd been and the Moroccan friend said he would love to go to Spain, but that it was pretty difficult for him to get a visa.

But when you're us,customs officers just check your passport, give you a stamp, and wave you through.

When you're us, you spend a lot of time figuring out where and what to eat - not when you will eat again. When you're us, if you break a shoelace (or an electric shaver, or a Kobo) you just buy a new one. When you're us, if your current location isn't working for you, you pack up and move on.

You do all of this too. Yes, you.

Obviously, lots of people in this world aren't so lucky. We have seen quite a few of them here in Morocco over the past few weeks. So take a moment to be thankful today, however you choose to do so. Thankful for your next meal, for your countless opportunities, for that printer sitting next to you.

And then help someone out tomorrow, however you choose to do so. We are definitely tipping the karma scale over here - it could use a little balancing.



  1. "English-fluent copy center gal" would make a great tagline for an online dating profile

  2. Love it. Good to keep your perspective...