We arrived in Marrakech just shy of midnight; tired after having spent the afternoon waiting for Ryanair to get its ‘proverbial’ together. (We stood around for ages beyond boarding time, and by ‘stood around’ I mean all the passengers for this particular flight were queued down the stairs, through the corridor, some sitting, some standing, with bags, children (either boisterous or bawling), some using our bodies to prop open the self-closing double doors (yours truly being one of them). With no announcement at any time from Ryanair to apologise about the delay nor to inform us how much longer we’d have to wait. Should we stay here, on this step, against the door, or should we go away for now, do I have time to go to the loo, what about a sit-down in a location more suited to that purpose? We didn’t know. So we waited. Thanks Ryanair.) And then, of course, being London: it started to rain. (If it had been a train journey, it would’ve been a windy day and there would’ve been “leaves on the track”.) Long story short, we were delayed.
But I digress! Back to Marrakech. I was ready for bed, but it was impossible not to notice the striking geometric patterns above and around me. I started to reach for my camera, but the Hub was focused on getting us to our accommodation tout suite so I was hustled along with the words, “You can take photos when we’re back here in a few days!”
I wonder what would’ve happened if I had pulled out the camera that night, because when we were dropped off four days later I took the opportunity to snap a couple of on-approach pics and as soon as I arrived at the entrance I was stopped by a stern security guard -I’m sure I saw a gun in his holster- who demanded to see my shots. He looked so disapproving that at one point I thought he would insist that I delete them all – all four of them. Surely I was not the only person who had ever taken photos of ‘RAK’ airport? Surely he realised that it was a cool structure? How could he not see that the light shining through the arabesque pattern was charming? After a couple of minutes of scrolling through my photos, he allowed me to pass but by then I was too freaked out to take any more pictures of the exterior; and then I only managed a couple of surreptitious clicks (with the iPhone – arrgh!) when we were inside.
Sighs, a thousand sighs! This is why when someone says to me that I’ll have another opportunity later/again/tomorrow, I say “How about one minute now?”
Sighs and security guards aside, I muse on the word ‘menara’. In Bahasa Malaysia (the language of my early school days) or Indonesian, it means ‘tower’ and in Arabic, ‘minaret’, so of course I couldn’t help but think about how unlike those words this almost-flat structure was.