The eating places on main highways have a familiar utilitarian, slightly shabby, non-pretentious air. They look more like truck stops than tourist destinations. Located on the outskirts of towns, more often than not we simply pass through such places, eager to reach the next big ticket attraction on our itinerary.
Not so at Zaida, a small Moroccan town (pop approx 5,000) in the province of Midelt. With the benefit of local knowledge, we pulled in. “Here you will eat the best Moroccan burgers”, grinned Said our wonderful guide and foodie extraordinaire. He chose a slab of meat, chatting to the chef who minced, spiced and cooked our burgers.
Meanwhile we sat on the the wide verandah at the red topped tables waiting expectantly. A local family were already tucking into their meal. Out the front, more cooking, with rows of orange tagines complimenting the blue china plates laid on our table. Across the street we spied a fruit and vegetable stall to buy fruit for later, and the universal truckie fast food pit stop Pizza Hut, its dusty sign holding no allure for us.
The burgers did not disappoint, while fruit and the friendly farewell from the vegetable vendors made our memories of Zaida all the sweeter. Sometimes it is the everyday simple experiences of life that make special moments.