The next morning I woke up sick. Not cold sick but I-should-not-have-eaten-that merguez-sandwich-from-that-shady-restaurant sick. I could barely move. I couldn’t get out of bed. I needed to return to Rabat. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be let back into the cemetery at Azjen, I couldn’t wait 12 more hours for the hilloula. I’m not sure if I made the right decision but at that point I just needed to get home. The Grand Hotel was feeling less and less grand. I finally got out of bed, checked out of the hotel, and decided I was going to give the medina one last go. I was on the hunt for the mellah and at least 4 synagogues. I stumbled out of the hotel and into the medina. Remember, look for the old men. I turned the corner and came upon 4 incredibly old men sitting in an empty store front chatting. PERFECT!
Where’s the mellah?
Yes, the mellah.
So I should go straight up.
Oh, I should turn around and make a right and then go straight and then make a right.
One took me by the arm and led us to the mellah. Funny, I had already walked down that street. It was totally under construction. Half way up the street was a gate and courtyard. Was this it? What was in the courtyard? I was hesitant to wonder in. I definitely didn’t want to go somewhere where I wasn’t wanted. Is this the mellah? I asked. I was motioned in. I looked around this courtyard for anything. This was the Jewish funduq, I was told. Were the synagogues here? Could I identify a mezuzah? Not that I could tell unfortunately. Or maybe I was just so sick I couldn’t see straight. Some men were inside a hay shed and I asked them what this area was. They said the second story around the courtyard was the Jewish area. Was there a synagogue here? No, they said. It was unclear whether they thought I meant a synagogue that is still in use or one that has fallen into disuse but still remains intact. I couldn’t communicate properly. I thanked them and left. I was told that there was a former Jewish school up the street but I could barely walk. I left barely satisfied but ready to return home. We headed to CTM and waited for our bus to Rabat to fill up so that we could leave.