Michael and I have been traveling now for 37 weeks, 19 of which have been living and traveling in our van. We’ve been spending a lot of time together. We eat every meal together, we plan activities together, and we spend our downtime together. We have learned a lot about each other too, how grumpy Michael gets if he’s hungry, how emotional I am when I’m tired, and which foods make us gassy. At the beginning of our trip, when we were in Italy, we went for sushi (yes, you can get something other than pizza and pasta in Italy!). That evening I wore lipstick, and we talked about everything under the sun except plans for our trip. It was lovely! We called it date night. And since then, every three or four weeks, we go on a date night. There are a few rules to date night: I wear lipstick, we go out for dinner, and we don’t talk about poop.
We were in Sidi Ifni and decided to have a date night. We were told by a friend about a restaurant called Suerte Loca, reasonably priced, with great Moroccan food. I donned my lipstick and we left the van. Suerte Loca is a cute little restaurant at the end of the main street in Sidi Ifni. It boasts a huge menu, with so many different tagines. A tagine is a ceramic dish, that one fills with vegetables and/or meat, and places on hot coals. It creates a steamy, oven-type environment and cooks the food beautifully. Suerte Loca boasts an impressive list of meat, chicken, seafood, and veggie tagines. But, even with a menu as expansive as this, they are known for the menu of the day. Today, was a Moroccan salad, an octopus tagine, and a chocolate caramel flan cake. Sounds good to us! We ordered it all, and two mint teas. Moroccan mint tea is sickenenly sweet, and if you ever order it ‘sans sucre’ you’ll understand why. It’s nickname is Berber Whiskey. They say you can’t get drunk off it, but you sure can get sugar high!
We sat and drank our tea as the empty tables in the restaurant began to fill. Three young Moroccan boys took to the stage. By stage, I mean an empty corner of the restaurant. Two guitars and a drum. The drummer kept rhythm, the guitarist impressively picked the strings, and the one who sang had the voice of a pubescent angel. They sang Moroccan songs, they sang French songs, they sang Jason Mraz! We clapped as each song ended, they smiled and nodded and would quickly discuss amongst themselves which song to play next.
Our food came. The salad was fresh and delicious, but the tagine was the star of the show. The huge dish was placed in front of us, and with the perfect amount of flare, the woman lifted the top to reveal a beautiful meal. Octopus cooked with onions and tomatoes, and rubbed down with about a million spices. We took the pieces of fresh bread from the basket on the table and, using the bread like a claw, picked up bits of octopus and sauce. Oh boy, it was delicious. Our conversation ceased as we ate — that’s how you know it’s good. The chocolate cake with caramel flan on top was out of this world. We paid our bill and rolled ourselves out of Suerte Loca. By the door was a tip jar for the boys playing music. We left them a hefty tip — they deserve it.
We walked back to the van, and shared an exuberant high five — another successful date night!