Eating Chinese Food in Fez, Morocco

This is not picture of Chinese Food Fez because well....read on.

This is not picture of Chinese Food Fez because well....read on.

I knew it was a bad idea to begin with, but the Chinese restaurant by our hostel was the only hope for a simple meal of steamed rice for Jill.

At the end of the alley as we turned towards our hostel we would invariably pick up stride with a small boy offering to show us to our hostel. At first it was funny because at the end of the alley there are only 3 things besides local residents: our hostel, a riad and the empty Chinese joint. So the kid walks with us and we say no no no. And at the end we get to our hostel and he asks for 20 dirham, or two bucks. I laugh at his audacity. This must work for him on occasion or he wouldn’t try it every time.

So I get Jill to the room and come back to the empty Chinese joint buzzing with fluorescent lights and dozens of flies that the owner insists on trying to kill like a madman while I peruse the menu. This is a bad idea. I mean, bad Chinese is a good idea under the best of circumstances, but this falls far short of even moderately decent circumstances.

I point to items on the menu. Sautéed aubergjne. No. No. He shakes his hands no. Sautéed zucchini? No no. Same hand wave. Steamed rice? Yes yes. Okay. Some progress. This is what a sick Jill wants.
I see his eyes go distant as I start to point to the fried rice with veggies and he lunges past the menu to slam the blue fly swatter against the table, smashing one fly and scattering several others in that continue their business of being flies. No. No fried rice. What DO you have? I ask. He mutters in Chinese and points to a chicken dish. I agree and he beckons me to sit sit.

No. To go. Take away. I make motions of carrying a bag and waking with two fingers. This is very confusing. I speak no French and no Chinese and he speaks no English and no French. A woman walks in who speaks some French. I try to explain. I walk her outside and point to the sign next door and make the same finger waking motion.

No. No takeaway. Restaurant only. I thank her and leave, confident that eating Chinese food in Fes was a bad idea.