Marrakech is absolutely wonderful and the part of the huge old city where I'm staying isn't touristy but full of treasures. It reminds me of India or Pakistan but vastly better. I never have enough of Arab countries so long as they are poor.
I bumped into Andrew Roberts in the souk and for some reason feel as if a goose walked across my grave. I wonder why.
Now in Taroudant.
I have become corrupt. I sold out. I decided to stay in four star hotel in mediaeval Taroudant city walls (it even has two swimming pools) instead of an unheated bedroom in a friend of a friend's cold house, far from the lavatory which does not have a flush. I feel better knowing its only EUR 50 with breakfast so not irredeemably corrupt.
I am not anyones idea of an ascete. But I told Abdel I'd stay with him and of course pay him something. I am letting him down. I feel comfortable hotels make travel materialistic. And for me I have always tended to think of materialism as the sin of sins though it is not. I tend like Saint-Exupéry to regard adult life with considerable suspicion and materialism is the adult vice.
I came here via a stunningly beautiful road that zigzagged over the Atlas mountains. And made my stomach very queasy. I shall return another way.
Today I woke very happy.
The joy of speaking schoolboy French.
I shall spend at least three nights in this hotel.
The other guests are German not French. Anything better than Englishmen. And this town is way off the tourist circuit. Few tourists and few sights though wonderful ancient walls the snow capped Atlas mountains in the distance and wonderful light. A good place.
Coffee with Abdel who said talking of our common friend:
She doesn't believe in God? Then she has no joy.
How I like Muslims.
On the other hand I liked them less when later in the horse and trap he said;
It is better to have four wives than one wife and use bitches.
Perhaps there is something to be said for sexually conservative Englishmen and women. But Abdel said this in reply to my question and was being loyal to his faith. He himself is inhs mid-forties and cannot afford one wife.