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Of Palaces and Pedicures

Representing Turkey

I’ve initiated a tradition of having a flag themed mani-pedi of the country I’m visiting. As George Bernard Shaw said, “You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?” (Robert F. Kennedy used this as a theme for his presidential campaign). So, why not have flag themed mani/pedis?!? Let me tell you.

Moroccan Palace in Fez

When Whitney and I were in Casablanca, she discovered there was a palace within walking distance. The King of Morocco has four in Casablanca alone; around 20 in the whole country! I’m gonna let that extravagance go because he insists on having only one wife and that Moroccan men should scale down from four to two wives. Let’s give him props for that. But I digress.

The Moroccan Flag

When we arrived across the street from the palace, I pulled out my phone to take a picture. Suddenly a guard darted into the street shouting “NO NO NO” while furiously wagging his index finger. Simultaneously, a group of guards appeared at the gates and assembled in a threatening position.

The guard demanded my phone to see if I shot a picture. I had not taken a picture, as instructed, and began what I hoped was a genial conversation. I drew attention to the Moroccan flag gracing my big toe, hoping it would build a bridge between us. It worked! He held his arm out and escorted me across the street to the gate. Since he was still in possession of my phone he took my picture. I asked if I could take a picture with the group of guards. The question illicited “NO NO NO” and more finger wagging. I was able to get another picture with he and Whitney however.

Then I started chatting with the other guards. They were curious about my pedicure. In time, everyone warmed up and guess what? We got a group picture!

I get hot just looking at this photo!

There’s a humorous post script. Since the walk was longer than we anticipated we had to grab a taxi back to our hotel. The cab driver had his wife and daughter in the back seat. We excitedly told them we had our picture taken in front of the palace. The wife knowingly shook her head, wrinkled her brow and said “oh no no no.” You can imagine our delight when we showed her the pictures and saw shock replace her confidence.

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