As you all probably gather, I get pretty stressed out sometimes. When I do, having a bit of time to just chill out is amazing.This weekend was supposed to be chill-out. We were having a class trip to Casablanca to celebrate two 21st birthdays by going clubbing in the evening of Friday and then shopping in the day of Saturday (especially for those non-clubbing types)

Everything that could go wrong, or weird, went wrong.

Dramatis Personae
L – a classmate
A – birthday boy
N – birthday girl
P – another classmate
H – a Moroccan friend

Act 1
We began at midday yesterday, when class had finished. The plan was for us to eat couscous together and then head off. P had rented a car, as had N’s boyfriend, and then H had space in his car for the rest of us. N wanted to leave at about 1, since the drive is four hours, but P wanted to wait until 3, since that is when H was getting here.
We enjoyed our couscous, and then began the series of wacky events. Firstly, everyone unexpectedly left me.  I was fine just chilling with some American friends, but did start wondering what was going on towards 2ish, when N and her carful still hadn’t left. Evidently it was just an issue of motivation, because they left at 3. Unfortunately, without checking with the rest of the group.
This caused problems, because H had brought along 4 friends. Which meant that the 3 spaces we needed had been taken. We went about hiring a second car, which involved a lot of time, a lot of waiting, a lot of phone-calls (off my phone) and we finally came to the conclusion that I needed to go home, get my passport (being the only other owner of both passport and drivers licence) and then go to the rental. Where the money had already been paid. At this point we felt it was a bit silly, but it got worse.
H had used P’s rental car to go and find out about the second rental car. And P’s car broke down. So we were now 2 cars paid out, with neither of them actually with us. At this point, A decided it wasn’t worth it. Of the group that was left only 4 of us were the clubbing type, and it was now 5pm, meaning we couldn’t make it to Casa before sunset. We told H.

Act 2
H decided he could give 4 of us a lift, one of his friends having found another car. Only 3 wanted to go, A, L, and me. We waited around for the second car, but due to the driver deciding to stop off and buy a laptop (I kid you not) we decided that in order to make it to Casa in reasonable time we would sit 4 in the back of the one car we had. We set off at 6:30, with H, A, L and me all squeezed into the back.
The journey was full of bizarre music, including Hanson, and the occasional moment of either me or L, the two smallest, ducking into the footwell so that the police didn’t see us. Oh, and a bottle of red wine. We stopped off at a roadside café and were serenaded by some berber musicians who kindly included all of our names in their song, courtesy of H. All this time we were in contact with N trying desperately to find out where we were supposed to meet. At 10:00pm, as we hit Casablanca, we were told to go to Tamaris.
Tamaris is a beach town about 25km south of Casablanca. It would take us another hour. And rather than staying with friends we were paying 600dh. But whatever. We stopped at a cousins flat, and got changed into our party clothes there. It was all a bit creepy, and by this time A and L were quite worried about how the night was going. At 10:30 we got some bad news. N and her crew had decided they weren’t going clubbing. H said he could find us a place to stay, and we could still go. A was still up for it, so we said yes.

Act 3
We drove back into town, now 7 in the car, with 5 in the back, to get keys to a cousin’s (a different one) flat. It was unfurnished. At this point A cracked, and said he’d pay me and L into a nice hotel and have done. We still had s bottle of vodka, and we could have made it a good night. Then, a miracle. N had decided they would come out. We got dropped at a dodgy beachside KFC, and walked to a café to wait for them. It was 1am.
In the café A and I had beer, while L began on her sprite and vodka, in a covert operation to mix it without anyone seeing. A got offered a variety of substances by H’s mate (the laptop-purchaser) who had finally caught up, but he sensibly refused. N called us to join them at Carré Rouge, or Red Square Nightclub. We went to meet her, and drop all of our bags into her car.
When we got there we found them outside waiting. We needed to pay either 200dh each, or 300dh each and get a bottle of vodka between 6 of us. In Morocco clubs sell by the whole spirit bottle, and not by the glass, because drinking is illegal for Muslims. A had already paid when we realised that the bouncer wouldn’t let H in. We asked for a reason, and there was none. He had just decided. Nothing we could offer, including buying a full bottle EACH, would change his mind. I got A’s money back, and we all left.
Finally we made our way to Havana Club (like the rum) which let us in for free, and played decent music. A bought a bottle of vodka between us all and we danced the night away until 3:30am (so, about half an hour). Then we were chased out, and hopped in the car to go home.

Act 4
At this point, there were 7 English/Americans in the car, and two Moroccans outside of it. We said goodbye to H and drove off. N was feeling sick, and A and L were just very jolly, which made us being pulled over by the police even more fun. I don’t know if anyone has tried fitting 7 people into a Kia Picanto, but it’s no easy work. Especially when the driver (N’s bf) is tall, and so has to have his seat all the way back. We had one sitting on anothers lap in the front passenger seat, and then three in the back with a fourth lying across them.
The policeman seemed surprised we had 7 people in the car. He told us it was insured for 5. When me and A got out to get a taxi, he told us to get back in. He welcomed us to Morocco, and we bribed him an incredibly expensive 100dh coffee to let us off. Which he did.
We made it back to the beach house at about 4:30am. A and L wanted to see the beach, and no-one had the energy to stop them. N was still feeling pukey, so we let her do her thing. I curled up into a little ball, on a tiny chair. We had a phone call from A and L saying that they were being chased by a rabid dog, so two people went out to find them. They were fine, but had got lost. Music was played, drugs were smoked by some, and then we slept. At about 5:30am. At this point I’d been awake for a full 23 hours.
I woke up at 7am to find E, another friend, staring at me from the sofa opposite. It was freaky. I fell back to sleep and then woke at 8 to the same thing. I considered saying something, but went back to sleep again instead.

Act 5
We woke around midday. A, L, E and I wanted to get the train back to Fes at 3:15, but we wanted to see the beach first. After a bit of hassling we left at about 1:30. We took in some sea breeze, which certain members of the group really needed to fight their hang-overs. We headed back to the beach house at about 2.
Everyone else had left. We waited for them, and waited. They made it back at 2:15, and we began trying to head up into Casa. Let’s not forget we’re 25km south of the city anyway at this point. After much pushing we finally left the house at about 2:30. N’s boyfriend drove like mad, and we made it to the train station in time to run past the ticket office and onto the train. We paid on board.
The train journey went smoothly. We arrived back in Fes at 6:30, exactly 24 hours after setting off. A and L waited with me for a taxi. L finally grabbed one, and I waved goodbye. My taxi driver was very talky, and very creepy, but I was too tired to notice. He dropped me off home without any arguments.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am never going on a fun/relaxing weekend away ever again.

Oh, and I got a mosquito bite on my nose.

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