Friday, February 26, 2016

Mucking about in Marrakech

The last time I was in Morocco, I broke my right (dominant) arm two hours after I'd flown into Marrakech. That was just over two years ago. This time, I've had more luck. The only damage (so far) has been to my wallet. I came to see friends from Australia who are here for the Biennale – Jules and Yvonne, Rita and Anne – but have also caught up briefly with my cousin Kylie (last seen in Amsterdam in early 2015), photographer friend Alia (New York last summer), online runner contact Ahmed (first meeting), and Abdou, who works with Rita and got me to Casablanca, and then on to my flight to Malaysia, after my arm operation in January 2014.

It's a spectacular time of year to see Marrakech: perfect temperatures and deep-blue, cloudless skies. I'm not able to take Rita's tour with the others into the mountains. Work eased up for just enough time to enable me to be a tourist for a week in Marrakech during the Biennale art fair, but not a traveller for another fortnight in Morocco. Miki and I are heading off on a jaunt in a couple of weeks and I need to finish up some jobs before we go.

After seeing a physiotherapist in Budapest I've decided to keep running so long as my back isn't hurting. I missed the morning chats and laughs with Rio too much. I've had random runs with Barb and Maria, and new training friend Kate, but I'll hope to get back into a routine soon. Just to keep me on task I've entered some events in the US later in the year.

Last month I decided on the spur of the moment to take the train to Pecs, in Hungary, for a couple of nights. I loved it, and ended up staying for four days. I also spent a few days in Vienna, where I got my bearings for the first time. I've also topped and tailed this visit to Marrakech with overnight stays there, in the Museum Quarter.

A new friend in Budapest is Andras. We met at a screening of the Woody Allen film Manhattan, and film has become our thing. He works in the business as an extra. It's early days in the new year, but things are looking good so far.