The Land and The Plan.
We have a new addition to our family. A new, nudey naked piece of land… a little baby piece for us to nurture and grow into the perfect family home with views of the high Atlas Mountains to wake up to every morning.
This is a story that I’m sure will come in many parts …….. So let’s start at the beginning……. Sometime ago a clever plan was hatched by the family’s new chief economist.
After much debating earlier this summer on where we should live in Marrakech, we came to the decision that , as a family , we would be better suited to living outside of the Medina. As lovely as it is, we found a few drawbacks. It is seriously lacking in green spaces for the kids to play and there is not much car access .With the school run coming up, we decided to look outside of the city walls for a house.
So we began the suburban villa house viewings. House after house of semi new Moroccan builds.
Being a Londoner, I am accustomed to row after row of uniformed houses with all the individual, artistic expression kept neatly on the inside of your home. At some point during the early building boom, Marrakech’s suburban architecture took quite a different turn. Traditionally, (like London), the houses in the Medina were really quite reserved from the outside ,and all of the glamour lay on the inside. But at some point, (maybe around the Dallas and Dynasty T.V. eras) as the new town spread, an architectural renaissance took place.It seems that during this period it became more appropriate to show everything on the outside. Each house in these streets is a monument to its’ owners idea of class and taste, with paladian pillars, stucco plasterwork and grand marble entrances. You can shop for a concrete Kasbah, a Grecian palace, an art deco dream or a Texan ranch. Sometimes a combination of them all can be found in just one house.
I think in future this era will be known as “the anything goes” period.
Of course now the town planners and architects have moved with the times and are building some fantastic homes, and have scaled down on the outward ornamentation.
Our search kept taking us further and further out of town. One fateful day, I was taken to look around “Amelkis” which is THE most expensive gated community in Marrakech. It has plots of land and houses for sale around a GOLF COURSE…..(oh no)…… Funnily enough as beautiful as the houses were, I soooo couldn’t manage to find anything suitable. I wonder why? ( much to the disgust of hubby.) But it was here the idea first sparked it was suggested by the Mr real estate agent that we buy a plot and build our own perfect home. Hubby was ecstatic… I get the house of my dreams and he gets, guess what?
I think I may have started to hyperventilate at the suggestion. That very night I had a nightmare that the house would never be built and life for hubby would become one long round of eighteen holes whilst the children and I had to live in a Berber tent shanty town on the plot of land we had purchased. The only time the children would ever see Daddy would be every few hours as he passed us by pulling his golf clubs, and giving us a cheery wave.
I WAS SO NOT going to become a golf widow.
After some contemplation. I decided that actually the building part was quite a good idea ; I mean come on girls who wouldn’t like the opportunity to build your own dream home?
But please, please not on the golf course.
I tried to talk about it, but he’s not listening…… he’s gone to golfer la la land. (And for once not worrying about the price, strange that?)
That morning, I hatched a cunning plan. I made an appointment with a real estate agent that sells the apartments at the Plaza. Now for anyone who doesn’t know Marrakech, the Plaza is right in the centre of the new town. This is a new modern shopping area with cafes and stores and up above some very nice apartments. I then tell hubby about this rendezvous and we go along to have a look. Oh how I love them…….(wink, wink) I quickly tell hubby, how perfect it would be to live here………….(wink, wink) and all that shopping I could do EVERY day and we can just pop down stairs EVERY night for dinner. I pretend to be ecstatic…………..Hubby who knows I don’t want to live in an apartment in the centre of town with the children starts to smell a rat. As he steers me past the real estate agent and out to the car he begins to twig. And finally we begin to talk seriously about the building of a house on the golf course. After a review of our budget, we/he comes back from golfer la la land and I/we decide that we will get more for our money if we buy a piece of land on the outskirts of town.
I am now the family’s wisest economist. (Which is very unlike me.)
Hoorah, how lucky we are, this will be our dream home; this will be our nirvana, tailored and designed specifically to the needs of our family.
As I tell my new friends here in Marrakech this great news, I am either greeted with howls of laughter or some very worried expressions. What’s wrong I ask?
YOU WILL SEE………….comes the stern warning…..
TO BE CONTINUED…….
~ by marrakechxanthepat on September 8, 2008.