Tina and I are in the hotel in Casablanca, repacking everything for tomorrow’s flight before going off to the medina and then having dinner. I thought I’d take a minute to let you know what a fantastic, flawless, trip this has been. Any superlative you can think of, just apply it to the experience we have had since we stepped off the plane. When we got here, I thought I was coming down with a cold (which fortunately never happened) and after greeting us with such friendliness, Jamal took me to a pharmacy to help me buy some medicine because he didn’t want anything to get in the way of me having a wonderful trip.
How could we not have a wonderful trip with Jamal as our driver? He quickly became so much more than a driver. Before the trip, “driver” to me meant just someone hired to get me from place A to Place B. Little did I know that I would be with someone who not only genuinely wanted us to have a perfect time but also who had the knowledge, foresight, planning ability and motivation to actually make the idea of perfection into a reality for us. He cared for us every strep of the way, protected us from any negative thing or mishap that might happen, with a sense of responsibility that I don’t often associate with someone of his age.
I know I’m going on and on about Jamal, but the reason is that he was integral to every wonderful experience we had. Jamal always accommodated us no matter what we wanted (unless it was unsafe or inappropriate for some other reason), such as when I wanted to stop and wander in a ruin I saw from the road. But he always accommodated me with an eye to my safety and with how to get the most out of whatever I was doing. Of course he was forever pointing out things that we might miss while driving and always giving us information about the culture and things which we, for example, might see from the road but not even know to ask about. He learned about us very quickly without us even having to tell him what we specifically liked or didn’t like, so he was really always one step ahead of us, anticipating what we would want to do and see. And by the way, he has a great sense of humor.
We took an Iphone, an Ipod, a MacAir and a camera, and Jamal’s technical knowledge of how all this worked in Morocco was a huge help when we wanted to figure out how to download something, how to make a phone call, how to get on the Internet etc., which we would never have been able to figure out without him. We had some very important business to take care of with someone in the U.S. (it had to be done during our trip, not before or after), and Jamal was key to helping us get our business done. And the fact that he put WiFi in his car was a tremendous advantage to us.
And of course he always facilitated things like getting us registered in the hotels, verifying with every restaurant that whatever we ate would be vegetarian etc. Whatever number of stars represents a tour of the highest quality this was it. For any friend of mine who is thinking of taking a tour in Morocco, I will unreservedly recommend Experience It! Tours, and I will tell then to insist on having our good friend Jamal as their “Make Everything Wonderful” person, since “driver” is too limiting and inadequate a word.
Jerry and Tina.
(March of 2012)