The title is a bit deceptive; I doubt we'll be posting drunken photos any time soon. One night in the souk, Alex was feeling pretty adventurous and tried everything from freshly squeezed orange juice to some reeeeeally strong tea. I know that "adventurous" is a bit much to use as a description for drinking tea/O.J, but travelers need to be wary of street food and drinks. Unfortunately, he did end up getting sick and was in bed for the entire day afterwards. I walked to a pharmacy and bought him some meds by gesturing to a woman who didn't speak French or English (not the first time I've done this!) and he was better within a day. I took a sip of the juice and didn't get sick so we thought it was the tea which seems impossible because it was boiling hot... I suppose it could have been something completely unrelated. On the plus side, this is the first vacation ever that I didn't get ill. I popped vitamin C everyday and generally acted like a crazy germaphobe... maybe it worked, or maybe it was just mind over matter. We ended that night on one of the many terraces, overlooking the market, and shared a dinner of kebabs. No meal in Marrakesh is complete without mint tea - a perfect end to the evening.
Another lunch and another chicken tagine - it was so inexpensive I felt like I was stealing the meal. On this day, we wanted to eat at kosybar but they were closed until dinner, so we pulled out the Lonely Planet guide and found that Restaurant Place Des Ferblantiers was also located in the same courtyard. I looked around, noticed the flies on the pile of bread and the cats eating the scraps, and assumed that I'd likely get sick from eating there but didn't want to be a downer and tried to be enthusiastic. I was pleasantly surprised - the food was great (and we didn't get sick). So, all my fretting was for not.
Have you seen the movie, Babel? There's a part in the movie that I thought of a lot during our previous travels. Cate Blanchett's character is on vacation (incidentally, in Morocco) and she's complaining to her husband about how she isn't enjoying the trip, she looks around at the other tourists and gets annoyed, and then orders a diet coke instead of the local food. I watched that movie in 2006 and I hadn't traveled to many places at that point. I wondered why she was being so miserable and thought that she was a snob for not being open to new experiences. Anyway, there's a point to this (besides that you should really see the movie if you haven't). While traveling through Mexico and Central America, we tried a lot of new foods and got sick a lot. I still cringe thinking about the days I spent in bed with the worst stomach pains of my life. Now, when we get served food, I'm mindful of temperatures, inspect hands, straws, cutlery etc..., and carry around sanitizing wipes - basically I'm nervous and paranoid. I often wonder if I've become that bitchy character or if I'm just being practical so that I can enjoy and make the most of my limited vacation time. I make an effort to eat local cuisine because, to me, it's an important part of travel... but still worry that I might be missing out on some "authentic" experiences - whatever that means. I'm curious, when you're on vacation, do you just dive right in, without caring about the consequences, or are you more cautious?