Simon and I planned to be there for no more than an hour at most, just changing coaches, but Casablanca lying as it does in Morocco, our plans were put out again and we saw rather more of the city than we would have liked.

It had not been a good day at work; in fact, we'd resigned. We were working in Rabat, and our contract had been until the end of February, but as far as we were concerned the miserably weary job was over. We had been finally spurred into action by the news that everyone was meeting in Essaouira, on the Atlantic coast, for a little holiday, and we had decided to go no matter what. We broached the subject with the boss well in advance, but he refused outright; we checked the coach times anyway, the prospect of an ugly walkout looming hideously. We did our best to prevent it, but in the end we strode nervously, deliberately in on the Friday, knowing we were leaving town that evening, and told everyone we wouldn't be coming back. The final meeting with Moussabbir had been confrontational and awkward, our boss reiterating his intention that we stay, us ploughing bravely through our flat denials and consolidations. Probably we were just being selfish, but it felt necessary at the time, and we wanted to travel. The company never had English students over again.

The rest of the day would be equally messy.