Casablanca, a trumpet player and a narrowly missed love bite from a sleazy Moroccan

Posted on January 18, 2015

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The next day after three hours of battling with the internet after brekkie I finally managed to send the voice files to London. I jumped in a cab and raced to the train station to get to Casablanca. I had heard from a number of people that it was not a very nice city but I’d read some good reviews in different media about what to do in 36hours so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Before I left London I found a really good New York Times what-to-do in Casablanca. Like most of Morocco there are mosques and mausoleums but unlike other cities it does have a thriving nightlife. Arriving at Casa Port I was immediately struck that it had more of a metropolitan feel about it and if you hadn’t told me I would have expected Rabat to have the same vibe.

With the influx of tourists it breeds a culture of “rip off” the foreigners by everyone and their dog. Inside the petite taxi sat another passenger. Thomas, the architect is Parisian and now a local of four years. I quizzed him where was good to eat and drink to cross ref both my guide and the reviews I had absorbed. We passed designer shops, western fast food outlets, Starbucks, KFC, McDonald’s and on the whole it felt like there was more happening here. There are few riads in Casablanca but it’s all about hotels and nightclubs. You could say everything and anything goes here, drinking, prostitution, homosexuality….it is the Las Vegas of Morocco…..nothing is taboo at the right price.

At my hotel I met a very charming extremely attractive British guy who works in PR in London. We struck up a conversation at our hotel bar. Me dressed as a street urchin wearing bad travel clothes and bad hair, him looking polished, slick and far too cool for school. We agreed to go out and sample the food at a place I had found in the NY Times review called Le Chester. It was billed as a hip and trendy venue with a DJ and kicking bar. I was now gagging for a vodka and tonic and a dance in that order. Mr Trumpet, he’s rather good at self promotion – perfect for PR – was up for a boogie so I had managed to nail a dinner partner and dance partner rolled into one and someone to share a cab with at night. Perfect.

Le Chester was rammed when we got there and it would be a 40 minute wait for a table. We hit the bar. There we met two local guys with great English who again gave us some pointers about where to eat the next night. Neither Mr T or I speak French. Hopeless. It made for hilarious ordering of food over the course of the two days…..here’s an example.
Me: “Je voudrais un salad aux Salmone….errrr….can you put the vinaigrette on the side s’il vous plait?”
Mr T: Un club sandwich s’il vous plait. No dressing. Et un cafe noir, merci.”

After a four rounds and hell of a lot of tapas plates of pretty good food Mr Trumpet spoke to the DJ and I decided to hob-nob with one of the owners. Salvatores is half Spanish. He recommended we hit a nightclub called Maison le Bey on the Corniche near the cinema which is open until 4am and great for dancing. On the way out we picked up three strays. Another two local guys, a Moroccan called Madje, his mate Thibaut and the DJ’s friend a 45-year-old chain-smoker called Natalie. We split onto two cabs. The lads got us in talking to the grumpy, burly bouncers and avoiding the queue. Inside debauchery, the women show took much everything – arse, tits, legs. You name it, it is out there. I had one girl ask me to take photos of her in the loos. In fact I did her a favour, giving her some pointers on lighting!! Smoking is everywhere, can’t avoid it. Alcohol flowing by the bottle per table. Muslim country – pah!

We rocked it out until 4am. I was shattered by the time my head hit the pillow. Put a 39-year-old woman (that’s me!) on the dance floor after a drought of booty-shaking and she will over do it. The next day was a right off, plus it rained hard all day. I decided to have a super lazy day: reading, sleeping, writing and feeding my hangover.

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As my hangover lifted hair of the dog replaced it. Half a bottle of wine later Mr T and I were in a tapas bar chowing down on calamari and salt cod brandard, octopus and spicy chicken wings. I managed to sample a half bottle of local wine – The Actress would approve – she had read about this grape. Downstairs at La Bodega is a small, sweaty little club where we again bopped until just after midnight. We decided to check out our nightclub at our hotel. The DJ was playing some very good “choons” but the crowd we decided was dull, rich and rhythmless.

Mr T disappeared to the bathroom and a tall, balding skinny Moroccan man came over to talk to me. He invited us to sit at his table. We never actually sat because we wanted to dance, so we moved a little close to the dance floor where his table was. I thought this dude was being hospitable to the only two foreigners in there; but no, don’t be fooled. As we called time on dancing we made to leave, I went to say goodbye, to be polite. He grabbed my hand to lead us out towards the exit. He then stopped to ask me if I was on Facebook and if we might keep in touch. I leant in to yell in his ear that I didn’t do social media plus I had no intention of staying in touch. It was then that I felt a wet slimy tongue on my neck. I freaked. Hearing my yelp, Mr T swung round and shoved him hard in the middle of his chest to get him off me, he then grabbed my hand and yanked me out the front door pulling my up the stairs like a parent dealing with a troublesome child.

All I could feel was disgusting saliva drying fast all over the side of my neck.
“How’s your love bite?” he said shooting me cheeky grin, loaded with sarcasm as we walked through the lobby
I was furious. Hopping mad in fact.
“It’s not funny!” I snapped. I was furiously wiping away at my neck repetitively. I made a bee line to the bar to ask the staff for water. Pouring a handful into my palm I started taking a wash there and then.
“Ash do that upstairs. Come on it’s late,” said Mr T heading for the lifts. I protested but put down the bottle and broke into a wee jog to catch up.
As soon as I was back in my room I got straight into the shower.
Ugggh what a way to end the night. I should be grateful I had a chivalrous Brit to thank for saving me from Mr Slimy. No doubt I’d get more ribbing in the morning….brace yourself girl this joke will run for sometime.

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