Abrasions During our Family Travels: Abrasion 4, Casablanca, January 2020

A few days after New Year’s, Chris and Carlos returned to the States, while Jamil, Josephine, and I trekked onwards to Morocco. We were excited about the shopping, the cultural immersion, and the beauty. On the flight, Josephine sat with Jamil, and they giggled as they always do, playing games and reading books. General silliness. But on the way down, I heard Jamil cry, “AH!!” Looking over, I saw him clutching his eye – I think it was his right eye. In her excitement, Josephine had made some wild gesture with the paper she was holding and had hit Jamil squarely in the eye. I knew immediately that he had a scratched cornea. As the wheels touched down and service on my phone resumed, I googled “medical care Morocco.” Yikes. Out of 89 countries evaluated, Morocco came in #89. But I wasn’t worried because, out of an abundance of caution, we’d bought travel insurance through American Express. We were set.

Jamil could barely make it off the plane. I’d hired a VIP service to get our bags and get us through customs, which seemed a little “extra” at the time, but Jamil could not possibly have gotten our bags. He couldn’t have navigated the airport. He couldn’t have done anything.

The entire time we were walking through the airport, I was calling American Express, whose medical assistance fell flat. They had zero suggestions for immediate assistance. They were useless.

In a moment of clarity, I called the Four Seasons Casablanca and explained what had happened to the concierge, who could not have been more accommodating. A doctor would meet us when we arrived at the hotel. Four Seasons for the win, as on so many other occasions. Not only that, but they upgraded us to the most incredible suite overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It was massive and gorgeous. Jamil would have loved it…if he could have opened his eyes. Instead, he gripped his face and groaned.

When the doctor arrived, I knew that 89/89 rating was probably spot on. His shoes gave it away. They were caked in grime and looked to be 20 years old. Not the shoes you want to see on your doctor. In no way did they say, I’m good at what I do, and you can trust me.

Sure enough, he had little to offer. He gave Jamil a shot of cortisone, which my friends in the USA still question. What was he hoping to accomplish? Who knows. But I will always love him, just the same, because he told the bellboy to run to the pharmacy for Tylenol. That bellboy came back with Tylenol 3, with codeine in full effect. The codeine was a lifesaver. It took the searing pain out of Jamil’s eye, allowing him to fall asleep. In fact, I think we all three fell asleep; it had been so stressful.

When we woke up, Jamil felt good enough to go to dinner. A martini or two would really perk us both up, we said.

HA! The joke was on us.

The Four Seasons didn’t do its research when it picked the location of its Casablanca outpost. The hotel was in the vicinity of a mosque, too close to serve alcohol. And that was that. No drinks whatsoever. Just a fancy juice bar. That might have been the most punishing abrasion of that leg of our adventure.

Enjoy pictures below of me, Josephine, and Jamil with his lovely eye patch!!

Author: Jessica Givens.