You'd think that experience would be a great aid in calming nerves, but I'm still a mass of gibbering jelly when I arrive in a new country. It might not look like it from the outside, but landing in a country at midnight when you don't speak the language and don't have any local currency on you scares the shit out of me. I remember landing in Bali in exactly the same state, though then I was alone and had never been outside the western world, and of course I found somewhere to stay and took it from there, one day at a time. This always happens, but for some reason this infallible evidence doesn't make me feel any easier. I hate arriving somewhere new, but in a sense it's the whole point of travelling. It's a strange masochism that I've never got to grips with, to be honest.
But sure enough Peta and I landed at Marrakech, queued through the stamp-happy officials at the passport desk, changed some pounds into the local currency (dirham, which aren't available outside Morocco), and caught a cab to the hotel that Peta had reserved from home. Read that again; which bit is scary? Landing? Possibly. Passport control? Nope. Catching a cab? Hardly difficult, though I had to negotiate the price in French on our arrival, which meant I had to unleash my French accent on the world, an act that makes my skin crawl in the same way that playing charades at Christmas with the family does. What about arriving at the hotel? Nope, they were politeness itself.
The only conclusion is that I am a complete wuss when it comes to arriving somewhere new. Perhaps it's this constant requirement to confront my fears that makes travelling so rewarding? Whatever, we arrived in Marrakech easily, quickly, and without any stories to tell.