This travelog is originally written in 1993.
December 22, 1992
I don't remember when I decided to go to Morocco. Anyway, I wanted to go a desert in Morocco.
No direct flight from Japan to Morocco, so I tried to buy a ticket of Iberia Airline, which has option to add a ticket from Madrid to Casablanca by additional fee of ten thousands yen. But I couldn't get it. Eventually, I decided to go to Paris by Air France and buy a ticket to Morocco at Paris. It's December 6, 1992.
In a plane(B747-400) of Air France, a monitor displayed a tracking of a flight. On a map of the monitor, you see a icon of a plane, a flight route, and a current position. The map described names of major cities and not-major cities with a small circle. I guessed the circle meant something related with a plane leading(*). After taking off at Narita, the circle appeared at Kawasaki, and moved to Niigata, Asahikawa, Khabarovsk. The monitor also displayed a speed of the plane, a distance to a destination, a time from a taking off, an altitude and an outside temperature in English, French, and Japanese. When the plane flew above Siberia, It's a -65 degrees Celsius. It was very cold outside.
It's interesting while preparing of a landing. A speed was slowed down at 300km/h, an altitude was becoming lower and lower. The plane passed north side of Charles de Gaulle International Airport, and turned for landing. A distance to a destination became shorter and longer, then shorter again.
I arrived at Paris at five thirty in the evening, got a room near Luxembourg station of underground. After a light supper of a hamburger, I took a walk around there and looked for a travel agency. I found "Nouvelles Frontieres", it still opened, so I asked about a ticket to Morocco. They had a ticket to Morocco only Saturday and Sunday's flight. Return flight also on Saturday and Sunday only. My return flight was at night on 9, January, Saturday. Hmm, I couldn't decide.
By the way, I exchanged Franc and Yen at Tokyo Bank, Narita Airport. To get 1000 Franc, it took 26010 Yen.
For example, a ticket from Paris to Marrakesh, €184.
December 23, 1992
I woke up at five o'clock in the morning due to jet-lag. I spent time reading a book until eight o'clock. At eight, an outside was still dark. But it's a waste of time, I went out. I had to get a ticket to Morocco, because I said to my colleagues that I would go to Morocco.
Walking in the town, still dark, few people, I waited 10 o'clock when travel agencies opened. I went a different agency from I visited last night. I wanted to leave Paris on December 25, but a flight on that day to Marrakesh was full. They said a flight to Casablanca was not full, but it took 3,000 Franc. It's normal because it's Christmas & New Year they said. After all, at Nouvelles Frontieres, I bought a ticket to Ouarzazate on Saturday, it took 2042 Franc for round trip. They had also a ticket to Marrakesh, but it only fly on Sunday. Return flight from Ouarzazate was also on Saturday only and it was on January 9, 1993. My return flight from Paris to Japan was at 23 PM on January 9. I think it's OK.
But I was wrong. This ticket cause trouble later.
Anyway, I got a way to Morocco. When I went out from agency, the sun was coming, many tourists were walking in a street. I wondered where they had been until that time.
I felt good. I go back to the hotel and told I would stay until Saturday morning. Then I went sightseeing. First, I went FNAC book store at Forum des Halles to buy a map of Morocco. On the way to there, I visited Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. There were a cheerful atmosphere by a lot of tourists.
In the Cathedral, a chorus group were singing. I enjoyed a pipe organ sound and very beautiful voices. If without flush from tourists' camera, it would be better. At back of the Cathedral, tourists buses parked, Japanese young girls talking and taking photo each other. It seemed to be joyful.
Then I searched famous Ice cream shop near hear. Why I wanted go to such a place? Because it's second time to visit Paris and I had much time... I found a very long queue, Wow!, it's a Ice cream shop I was looking for. It's not tourists but local people made a long queue. Ice cream for Christmas!
I gave it up, and walked to Forum des Halles. I bought a map of Morocco at FNAC. A price was 20% off, 26.40F.
After visiting Modern Art Museum at Centre Pompidou, I went outside and found many people together. It was a street performance. One man tied by chain. He were doing unchain performance. While he doing, another man doing other performances for a laugh. I was laughing though I couldn't understand what he said. Inside the people's circle, children were sitting and enjoyed it much. One performer was slim, tied his long hair. Another wore big size short pants only, impressive looks, busy to do various performances.
Street performance at Centre Pompidou
I went back to the hotel and slept. At night, after a diner, I went Jazz Club that I picked up from a guidebook. It was Jazz Club, but very different from one I familiar with. A Performance began, some couples of aged persons began to dance. It was such kind of place. I became very sleepy, performance was dull, so I went back to the hotel soon.
Today I bought
- Air ticket to Morocco: 2042 F
- A map of Morocco: 26.4F
- L'officiel des spectacles(magagine): 2 F
December 24, 1992
I woke up at 8:30. Today, Let's go to Musée du Louvre! I thought how spend this afternoon, but I need much time to see Louvre until evening.
At night, I went a Thai restaurant named 'Mita Phap' listed on a guidebook. It's not good. Thai restaurant in Tokyo is better. Asia is far away from Paris.
On the way to the hotel, I saw a great performance at a platform of subway station. When I went down to the platform, I hear sound of drums. It was a drum sound from Black Africa. It's a real one. Africans were singing with beat of drums. It was a world of Africa. A strong rhythm beaten my body. It's great.
They were straddling four big drums and beaten them. Then someone opened a bottle of champagne and passed around it. Many Africans came around and singing together. Someone began to sing, and one of drums beat a rhythm. Other drums followed the rhythm with good timing. I guess this was their Christmas party, who couldn't go back their home.
After a while, a police came to stop them.
"Hey, it's OK, because Christmas"
"No, No, go away"
one of police men was African.
"Hey, you are African, you must understand us"
"Hahaha, I have to do this"
I imagined conversation above.
December 25, 1992
In the morning, I went the town, felt very different atmosphere. It's very quiet. No car were driving. It's the same as Japanese New Year's day. Most cafe were closed. I would go to Musée d'Orsay. On the way to there, I found a cafe opened, and took a breakfast. Arriving at Musée d'Orsay, mmm, It's closed! Ah, I regret that I decided I would not to go Musée d'Orsay yesterday after seeing Louvre. I had one hour and half to see Musée d'Orsay yesterday. I found many tourists came to Musée d'Orsay and return with sad as the same as me.
Most of shops and restaurants were closed. McDonald's were closed. Museums were closed. So, only thing to do for tourists was walking on l'Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
I also waking around here and there, but I felt it's stupid, then I went back to the hotel. I watched TV at a Lobby.
A man at 'Mita Phap' restaurant was Chinese. When he saw my signature on a credit card, he said so. His name was 呉錦良. He told me how pronounce my name in Chinese, and asked me how pronounce his name in Japanese. He also showed me a newspaper in Chinese '欧州日報'.
I found a restaurant of Thai/Vietnam/Chinese mixed cuisines in Quartier Latin. There were some Thai/Chinese mixed cuisines restaurants.
At night, I went to ethnic food restaurants area in Quartier Latin. Many tourists were there.
It's very cold today. Coooold! Morocco tomorrow.