We arrived before dawn, after 24 hours of traveling. Shuffling past security, I handed over a scrap of paper with Sidy's father's business address as my contact information. I was waved on by a man in a military shirt and a beret.
A long line to retrieve our luggage. Then, finally, out the door, greeted by young men offering cab rides, cell phone calls, God only knows what else.
Sidy and Ali were in the crowd. No hugs. A brief introduction to Ali. A black Toyota that was big enough to hold our copious lugguge. Lisa and I piled in the back seat.
It turned out to be a remarkably short drive to our house. We pulled up to a big metal gate. Lights were blazing. Sidy shouted for the hired man to open the door. We hauled our things into the courtyard... and then into the house. Sidy showed us our rooms. They were simple, lovely. Mine was in the front of the house. It had a foam mattress on the floor. A sheet. A mosquito net. I also had a bathroom with running cold water. (There was some debate over who got the bathrooms. Sidy, of course, had one. I lucked out and got the other. There was a third, outside, that Rusty used most of the time.
The main room of the house was lit by overhead florescent lights. There was a coffee table, 4 heavy metal lawn chairs with the year 2002 woven into their backs. A little dish rack on the floor with plates, spoons, knives, forks and glasses and cups. A freezer.
We sat in the lawn chairs and Sidy brought out some food. I can't actually remember what it was. We talked about our journey. About Morocco and about Rusty missing the plane because he hadn't gotten his visa in time. I think I might have pulled out the bottle of scotch I had gotten in the Duty Free shop in Casablanca.
And then, finally, we said goodnight and crawled into our mosquito nets and slept until late the next morning.