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Tangerines and Toilet Money

Marrakesh, Morocco
By Breannon 5 years agoNo Comments
Home  /  Stories  /  Funny  /  Tangerines and Toilet Money

{@}One of the things I miss the most living outside of the US for the past 4 years is the availability of semi-decent, free toilets (but not necessarily the huge gap between bathroom doors that is inevitably present in all US public bathrooms) when travelling. My toilet anxiety can be chalked up to countless family road trips as a child, including a move from the west coast to Mississippi and back. During road trips, it was implicit that we ONLY stop for gas. Thus, this developed into the golden rule of road trips—during gas stops be sure to grab food, use the toilet, and do any other activity inhibited by being in a car. Since there were rarely exceptions to this, the golden rule of road trips has inevitably been extended to general travels in the form of always utilising available toilets regardless of whether or not the urge is present. Furthermore, an addendum to this rule when travelling outside of the US is to always have toilet money on hand.

This addendum was employed while travelling across Morocco, and more importantly the bustling medina in Marrakesh. A winding maze of tiny streets, markets, and riads, the medina is not easily navigable. Constant vigilance is also required to avoid getting hit by the scooters zooming around every corner. Our stay in Marrakech came at the end of a 10-day journey around Morocco. At this point I’d become an expert at locating toilets, despite not having the usual (westernized) easy outs of McDonald’s and Starbuck’s toilets. I also knew to always have some spare Dirhams on me to pay for the public toilets. Since toilet fees were minimal, small change was necessary.

During one of the many wanders around the medina I decided to take advantage of one of the local fruit carts. After selecting an amount of tangerines I’d wished to purchase, the cart owner told me the price and I proceeded to pull my pocket change out into my hand. A quick calculation determined that I didn’t have enough to purchase the selected amount and I asked the man if I could purchase fewer tangerines. Bewildered, he looked at my hand and said, “but you do have enough!” to which I replied, “but that’s my toilet money!” further explaining that I was unwilling to part with all of my small change. The man, presumably shocked to have an American woman so attached to toilet money, laughed and graciously offered me a lower price so that I could keep some of my toilet money. Little did he know the toilet anxiety he had prevented!

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