So Souk Me
Alex discusses her travel buddies and the Ramona and Jill debacle.
I’m alternating putting our links at the beginning and end of the blog!! Thanks for watching and please check out my fashion recap here and our Facebook page. Would love it if you follow Simon and me on Twitter, and definitely check out ThuginaCocktailDress.com for our T-shirt partnership with Housing Works. Oh yeah, and Simon's song "I Am Real," and the "Thug in a Club Mix"!
Meanwhile, back in Morocco…fortune tellers or psychics or shamans or normal people with their third eye open should NEVER do a reading with a gaggle of girls around. Nor should they with a camera crew. It's also hard when only Kelly, LuAnn, and I speak French. Although Kelly gets on my last nerve much of the time, I was glad to see that she was trying to be objective with the translation for Ramona.
Here's what -- the fortune teller said another woman was thinking of Mario. Totally possible – when the four of us go out, women always look at him. I see it. Ramona sees it. Anyone with eyes sees it. That doesn't mean he's cheating. If I had a dollar for every time some woman hit on Simon, I'd buy a Birkin retail.
If you're wondering what the psychic told me – it was just the two of us in the room. No translator. She told me that my marriage was good, my money was good, but I had an issue with one of two sons – the "bigger" one was emotional about a recent change. She was right; François had changed schools and at the time was having difficulty adjusting. But, to play devil's advocate, Brad could have been told all of that by Jill.
All I will say about Ramona's hallway discussion and her mention of LuAnn and Mario is that the behavior she described is not confined to Mario.
The next day, we went to the souk. I had to laugh at Jill's disguise. She dressed up as "I'm a Tourist, Please Rip Me Off." I wore one of the necklaces Simon bought me in the same souk seven years ago -- knowing that shopkeepers there would recognize it and see I was in the market for good quality. At the riad, our guide saw it and said. . ."Ahh, you've been here before. What do you want to buy this time?" I already have carpets and jewelry -- this time I wanted something beautiful for my mother.
Cindy turned into a two-year-old in the car -- while I'm not LuAnn's biggest fan, she clearly asked Sonja to save her a seat. Even Ramona, who has the loudest mouth of all of us, happily moved out of the way because LuAnn saved that seat. What's not to understand? Cindy had a china mug of coffee with her, pouted, whined, and turned her back to Sonja. If it had been me, I'd have poked her with a hanger.
On arrival, I ran as far as I possibly could from the idiotic Cindy vs. Sonja plus Kelly and LuAnn conflict, and instead hung out with Mustapha, shopping.
Time for the camel ride -- this was the most exciting part for me because in 2003 only Simon got to do it (pictures of camels and the souk from our first trip here). The moment we started, LuAnn's camel was acting strangely. The animals were tightly tied together, so her camel's head was right by my leg. He sniffed, chewed, and eventually took my whole boot heel in his mouth and held onto it -- probably not normal, but since it wasn't hurting I let it go and laughed. Only a few minutes later, he started bucking LuAnn. After she was safely off and the camel was removed from the line, he helped himself to a few beads off Jill’s bracelet. There are still little teeth marks on that boot, LOL.
We rode up to a beautiful tent where a gorgeous dinner had been laid out. No s'mores – that's American. We're in Morocco. We had kaab el ghzal, an almond'y sugary pastry. There were tagines of lamb, beef and vegetables, couscous, zaalouk, taktouka and lots of champagne!
Jill suggested we play a sharing game, and I was really disappointed but not surprised to see LuAnn's interview reaction to my sharing. Admittedly you only saw half of it -- my punch line was that my childhood prepared me to roll with the punches around crazy grownups! Anyway, Sonja, Ramona and I had been spending nearly every end of the evening sharing pretty much our whole lives with one another, and it had been very deep. I didn't know I was supposed to say that I was on the pom-pom squad in high school.
Talking over one another is always a problem -- going along with the game theme I passed LuAnn the salt and said she got to speak because she had it. That worked for a few minutes, until it didn't. Cindy said no one respects anyone else; well maybe she doesn't respect anyone else. I was so, so happy to see Ramona and Jill hugging outside, and hoped that it meant they'd make up. . .
Skype! One of the things Simon and I do when one of us is away is speak on the phone and/or Skype every day, preferably 20 minutes, twice a day. Once with the kids, once just adults because "We Were Here First." The rest of the day, we leave each other alone to do our business -- no texting or calling. With the kids we often just make funny faces at each other, or they hold up an art project. With Simon, well, it didn't happen in this scene because I had visitors! By the way, I had no makeup on whatsoever that time. Want to see what they were up to while I was away? Check out Simon's brand new webisode here.
Oy, I was so annoyed that anyone blamed the meat for Sonja and Ramona's issues. Unwashed dried fruit can be a problem, but don't insist on a Big Mac because that's what you're used to! In the past (and future) I always opt to try whatever local food looks good. If I get a little irregular afterward; big deal. I don't want to miss out!
We headed to the Hotel Sultana, which had a traditional hammam attached. I knew right away we'd be in for a treat because of the marketing group the hotel belonged to -- Simon has worked with that company for years, both in consulting and corporate. I actually thought Sonja organized it, but it doesn't matter who was responsible as long as we got there. No, the white stuff was not cocaine. Is that what that illegal drug even looks like? It was sugar.
Jill and I had a moment alone, and I wanted to tread so carefully with both of them. There's been a lot of middle-man sabotage in this fight, as well as with Bethenny last year, and here I was stuck in the middle. I wanted to build them both up to feel positive going in, so that they could really go in deep "to the bottom" as I joked to Ramona. I don't see the point in being "fake friends." You're either real friends, or acquaintances who nicely avoid each other at parties.
Finally, for once, Cindy managed to lighten up! I loved the bit where Sonja and she hashed out the car and the annoyances. And Cindy's probably right, too much diet soda is way worse for you than fruit. Let's hope Cindy 2.0 stays with us.
Ramona and Jill sat down to talk. My Cliff's Notes version -- when given concrete examples of hurtful behavior, Jill first says, "No, don't talk about that, let's go deeper." I don't think it's necessary to go deeper than "You say one thing to my face and another behind my back." That's pretty clear. Jill then admitted she said something, but wouldn't admit it was hurtful. That's just plain silly, and is like a seven year-old lying about having their hand in the cookie jar. Jill asked Ramona "Why do you hold me accountable?" for her comments about Mario. Because they are hurtful! When Jill said it was a joke, all I can say is -- ha ha. Sure, Ramona laughed. Just like I did when she said joking about my kids was OK during our makeup lunch. Just like Bethenny did when Jill thought their fight last year was a joke. OK Jill, if it's all a joke, I guess the joke's on you because no one else thinks your "jokes" are funny.
NO -- EVERYONE DOES NOT WEAR TWO FACES, as Jill said in her interview. No, it's not a premise or requirement of our show that we talk behind each other's backs, as she said on a talk show this week. If that were the case, we'd all be doing it, and we don't.
Ramona needed to stop talking and not interrupt Jill when it was her turn to speak, but somehow I don't think this is over yet. Jill did bring up her main issue, which was being kicked out of St. John. It was not her last chance to talk to Bethenny. Ramona threw them in a room together in NYC -- though LuAnn pulled her out. By the time we got to St. John, there was no going back. Jill strolled in to St. John, literally stood with her backside two inches from my face after sneering "Hi" at me, and did not have one ounce of humility or apology toward me or Bethenny -- and she didn't call in advance. The person who hates ambushes the most, ambushed us. I totally understand that she feels badly about being thrown out, but why is she rewriting history?
See you next week. . .