That evening we went to supper at Hamid’s house where he lived with his parents and his wife, Radha and sons Yassim, 8 and Saad, 4. Hamid was an only child, his sister having died very young. Hamid’s father was in his mid 60s and was blind due to a late diagnosis of glaucoma. It was a big house on one storey with a flat roof ready to build up as their family grew.
There was a pedestal toilet in a tiled washroom. One room had a wood fired bread oven where Hamid’s mother made the daily bread. When it was cold in winter they used that room as a family room, augmenting the bread oven heat with a wood burning stove. In the main sitting room, where we had our meal, there was a large TV which the little boys switched on the minute the meal was over – then they ran off to play in another room.
The meal was the best we had had in Morocco, bar our own cooking. There was a rice dish with peppers and chicken, barbecued beef and turkey on skewers served with chips, vegetables and fresh bread.
Later we were discussing what food we needed for our journey into the desert. Hamid said he would drop off some fire wood for a campfire and I offered some supermarket chicken from our freezer to cook on the barbecue. Hamid explained they couldn’t eat supermarket chicken as their meat had to be from a halal butcher. I asked him if eggs had to be halal too. “No, eggs is eggs”, replied Hamid rolling his eyes.