70: Morocco’s money, and what it buys for me.

Morocco pays me in dirhams. Eight and a half dirhams equal one US dollar. That means that I earn a VERY good wage here in Morocco. It also means that I do NOT earn a great wage when I travel to nearby Europe, so I have to save between school vacations in order to flit off to Spain, France, Italy, Germany or England. However, the nice thing is that there are several discount airlines that fly from here to Europe, so I can fly round trip for 50 bucks or less. Yes, I can’t take or bring much luggage, but hey! The only thing I miss about the US were the cheap package deals to Mexico and the Caribbean. And there are still some deals to be had here that are going to there, even though it’s not so cheap from northern Africa as it was from southern Georgia. Europe, though, is obviously much less because it is so much closer.

Traveling to Rome? And I am NOT talking about Rome, Georgia – the REAL Rome: Cittavecchia! I can fly so cheap, I can almost justify flying to Rome for the weekend, I kid you NOT!! What’s to whine about that?? And, besides, I always have parts of Morocco that I have not yet seen, and I am relatively wealthy here, even if not-so-much in Europe, when I take a vacation. That is not something new, though – I generally don’t have a lot of disposable cash when I can finally afford the basic costs of a vacation. The airgfare and accommodation and meals are pretty expensive all by themselves, and as soon as I can scrape up those costs, I want to just go. That means I usually don’t have lavish amounts of spending money whiole I am there, and am on a pretty strict budget – which I generally blow all to smithereens on a georgeous object.

I bought a Greek flotaki? flokati? A lovely wool rug that I adore so much I packed it when we moved to Morocco, even with our limited luggage allowance. In Ecuador, I bought soft and silky alpaca ponchos in lovely, vibrant colors for myself, my mom and my daughter. In Italy, I bought a gallon of extra virgin olive oil that lasted me nearly a year when I got home: doled out sparingly for delicious salad dressing recipes, and other wonderful Italian recipes like lasagna and spaghetti. In the Dominican Republic, I bought original paintings, taken carefully off the canvas stretchers and rolled lovingly into cylinders that would more likely make the trip home intact – and they did. When I went to Brazil, I got an exquisite piece of macrame for a wall hanging. See what I mean? It appears that I might as well not even bother with a budget, since I am going to end up eating crackers and water for the last three days, anyway, because of my beautiful new object!

Actually, I am packing enough body fat for a forty-day fast, if necessary, so limited food money the last few days of a trip is inconsequential, especially weighed against whatever my newest acquisition has turned out to be. I just want to travel – to go and see new places and new things!And even if that means I am limited to Morocco, there are still lovely places to see that I have not visited before, so I will be happily vacationing every chance I get for years to come.

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