Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Personal Space

The Moroccan people were amazing - so protective and loving toward children. Adults and children alike were constantly coming up to give Levi and Owen a cuddle and a kiss on the cheek.

At first I was okay with it - Levi had loved the attention of similar affections in Italy, so I continued to be of the mind that it was very sweet.
As it seemed to be rampant flu season throughout Morocco, we took to carrying Owen in our carrier to lessen the snuggles he received though he, as Levi once did, seemed quite happy with all the attention.

Levi preferring the freedom of his own two feet was subject to a lot of lovin´ and as he became more aware, and more prepared, he also became on guard to the point where every person who came within a short distance of him caused him to shout and run. Clearly he was not a fan of this space invasion.

It came from an honest and sweet place, but as he didn´t like it, I too started to feel bothered by it. It even got to where he would shout at every person who said hello.

This posed a slight problem because I didn´t want to teach him to accept what he wasn´t comfortable with, but I also didn´t want him to rudely shout at anyone who said hi. But how on earth can a 2 year old discern who is coming in for a kiss or a chat??

This attitude of Levi´s toward strangers has carried on into Spain, though it seems to be gradually waning as the locals in Spain seem to be a little more careful in their approach.

We never did find a solution. We would just quickly pick up our annoyed little boy, send an apologetic glance toward the offender and be on our way. As it is in their culture and to be expected there is not much more you can do, though at times I had wished there were.

I´m sure a child´s reaction changes according to their age, but also their ability to react properly to the situation and read people´s intentions.

Throughout our stay Levi generally was quite thrilled with the attentions from other children, and with each accommodation as he became familiar he became equally comfortable with the owners, and staff.

Adjusting to cultural differences is all part of the game, though this particular difference was tougher than most, and one I don´t think we ever fully adapted to.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thank you!!

Thanks for all the great comments I´ve been receiving on my blog posts, and thanks just for stopping in to check up. My time at internet cafes is very limited, so I have been unable to respond to comments but believe me I read and appreciate them all!
One thing I´m wondering...How on earth I´m going to find the time to read all the posts from the blogs I love, that I haven´t been able to read up to this point???
I´m in for some late nights!


Thursday, November 17, 2011


I felt that this needed to be shared. If not only to gain possible answers for anyone in the know (please seriously, what is being advertised?), then to simply give you a chuckle and let your mind wander through the possibilities...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Breakfast, Chefchaouen style

I love a place that provides brekky, even if it´s nothing more than a cup of coffee with bread and jam. There is nothing quite like waking up to have breakfast waiting for you.

Soft ewe´s cheese, olives, fried egg, fresh squeezed OJ, bread, jam, coffee, bananas, yoghurt

Hello New Teeth!

The Breakfast View

Jim has an idea that these olives may have been partially responsible for the downward spiral of his health in Morocco, which was only further infused by the bucketloads he saw providing a fully sun-baked resting place for the towns fly population at the market. hmmm... We will never know the truth.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

´Chaouen Moments

You know those pre-baby days of travel, where immediately upon leaving home your whole mind and body check-in to chill-out mode, free from schedules and responsibilities?
Well, this does not happen with kids. Should be obvious I know, but alas, part of me hangs on to this dream, and suddenly I find myself wondering things such as, "What the??? Why aren´t they sleeping [as they never have before]?..."

And then comes the AHA!... We´ve actually had this a few times already and despite putting it into writing, we are destined to have it many more times, but I digress...

The AHA! moment... Oh. Right. You couldn´t care less where we are. You will still continue to laugh, cry, pee, poo, grow teeth, scrape knees, bonk your head, feel afraid, have a funny tummy, eat, not eat, want cuddles, hate cuddles, and all the while keeping us guessing and learning.

It is crazy tough having these 2 little guys as traveling companions; and then suddenly I´m watching my son kick the ball around the main square in Chefchaouen (Morocco) with a group of local kids, integrating in a way I never could, where all the stigmas of adulthood like nervousness, language barriers, and awkwardness cannot go, and I KNOW it´s all worth it.
The little bits in between the tough times are what make it worthwhile because the low lows of parenthood are with us no matter where we are, but these high highs cannot be duplicated.

Monday, November 14, 2011


The cappucino of Italy is not the cappucino of Portugal - as far as I have seen. After excitedly ordering my first, warily ordering my second, and disappointedly (yup, one more go) ordering my third, I finally realised that the cappucino of Portugal is, in fact, a small 'just add water' packet made by a little company called Nescafe. And that, my friends, is when Galao became the new cappucino.
Mmmm hmmm...double long espresso with milk.

ps. I'm sure there is an amazing cappucino somewhere in Portugal, but it just wasn't my luck to find it, and now I´m glad I never did!

Friday, November 11, 2011

At The Edge Of The World You Eat Sausages

...And browse the gift shop, buy wool sweaters, pay 50 Euro cent for a pee and, of course, have a photo stop on the giant chair.

My boys are already embarassed of me. Look at them trying to escape!

Quite a difference from our visit to the Westermost point of our world's time clock in Samoa where there is not a soul to be seen, a small wooden sign declares your momentous whereabouts, and an old aquamarine outhouse invites you to spend a few thoughtful moments with the sound of the ocean steps away.

Portugal's Cabo de Sao Vicente (Cape St.Vincent) is the South-Westernmost European point. It affords stunning views plus a touch of vertigo as you stand atop the 90 degree cliffsides staring down into the endless sea.

There were several men fishing from different points along the edge (oh, only 75 metres above the ocean) - hope no one catches a "live one".