You know how you have internal conversations about imagined situations/scenarios? Well, I had one such for problems we might encounter whilst on the bike. I would say, assertively but calmly, 'Simon, just pull over as soon as possible, we have a small problem'. In the event, what came out of my mouth was 'Oh shit, the drybag’s gone!' No hint of calmness there. Still, we stopped quickly.
However, negotiating the traffic was a different matter. The route to the supermarket involved crossing a large roundabout. I stood and observed for five minutes, heart increasingly in my mouth. Zebra crossings seem to function as adornments only.
The locals put out a hand (referred to as ‘The Hand of God’ by my well-travelled daughter Bianca, much used in India) and just step into the road. Sometimes the cars stop, sometimes they swerve round, sometimes the pedestrians stop. Horns beep. Seems to work somehow, not for me, though. I didn’t have the confidence or death-wish to just step in front of a car and hope it’ll stop. So I found a different route that involved just crossing three lanes of traffic.
Whilst meandering in the Médina in Fez, giving over to the assault on all our senses, we decided to take a break in one of the little cafés. A bit of people-watching and a game of backgammon.
|Beware the doubling dice!
Paper towels appeared, the waiter busied himself with cleaning up and we moved to another table.
The spilt drink had melted the sugar cube on my saucer. I picked up my cup to finish my coffee, the saucer stuck to the glass but then lost its sugary grip and - yes, you can guess - came crashing down. The waiter appeared again, a slighty exasperated look on his face this time. We left a generous tip and made for the exit. We must have been tired. Some dyspraxia 'dis-coordination' too, on both sides.
All have recovered, including the backgammon set.
Riding through the Atlas Mountains offered spectacular scenery. A cross between Grand Canyon and Mars. Think ‘Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Mad Max’.
El Camello (The Camel, our trusty steed) was in his element, practically purring (or whatever the camel equivalent is) all the way through the mountains.
The people here smile easily and we get cheery waves from shepherds and shepherdesses, school children and all the people sitting by the roadside.
I had a little emotional wobble the other day. Out of my comfort zone and recovering from a mild stomach upset, I felt homesick and intensely missed my kids. All part of travelling, I suppose.
My sense of adventure and curiosity to experience new places outweigh my anxieties.
So, feel the fear and travel anyway! 😊😊