Pandemic Travel – Africa Edition

Pandemic Travel – Africa Edition

Our Morocco trip was booked back in late 2019 for April 2020. With the pandemic, the trip was postponed. Since this trip was booked pre-retirement, the duration of the trip was only for a week, which is short by today’s standards.

Morocco is open to US travelers, albeit with restrictions. First, we had to test negative for Covid within 72 hours of the trip (to be sure, I time it to within 72 hours of landing in Morocco instead of flight departure time). Second, we had to have hotel documents in hand (likely for contact tracing purposes).

For our Covid testing, we had it done at LAX for $125 a piece given that they guarantee a 24-hour turn around. Results were in fact available within 12 hours. With that out of the way, we were set.

The morning was spent meeting up with the in-laws, and grabbing our go-to breakfast whenever we’re in town.

Chinatown looked deserted with all the outdoor seating areas occupying the roads
Char sui with duck. Yummy, but not as yummy as I had expected. I suspect after recently having had Taiwan pork, which is fattier, US pork (injected with ractopamine to promote leanness) isn’t quite as flavorful. Ractopamine causes a lot of problems in pigs (e.g., broken bones, lameness) and I’d been trying to avoid eating pork in the US. Taiwanese have also been boycotting US imported pork due to health concerns over the additives.

After lunch we spent a good part of the afternoon with Shel, Bei, and the kiddos at the seaport.

View of Brooklyn Bridge at the Seaport

Then it was time to say goodbye to the city. Coincidentally, our Lyft driver was Moroccan, and he was quite excited that we were headed to his home country.

JFK international terminal is busier than LAX Tom Bradley terminal, but nothing like the zoo we encountered at the domestic terminal yesterday.
Aside from the crowd at the check-in desk, the scene in the rest of the terminal was similar to what we saw in LAX when we flew to Turkey and Taiwan.
Unfortunately, the flight was pretty much full. Thanks to Royal Air Maroc cancelling all of their US routes except for one. How I wish I were back on the empty Cathay flight. Looks like the days of easy flying during a pandemic is nearing its end.

Looking back, this was a bad weekend to fly, with Easter weekend and upcoming Ramadan there’s guarantee to be crowds. Hopefully, it’ll be better when we fly back to the US next week.

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