I’ve been in Marrakech for five and a half hours, and I’m ready to turn around and fly back to New York. Reason #1 is that my wardrobe isn’t slick enough for the festivities, and I’m not about to fork over God-knows-what for new evening threads, which is what has been suggested. Reason #2 is that the wifi in my large, first-class, ultra-regal hotel room at the Palace Es Saadi doesn’t work. It’s fine in the huge hotel lobby, but I’m not going to write six days’ worth of Hollywood Elsewhere stories from a hotel lobby.

I forgot to pack my suit jacket (or a dress shirt or tie, even) but on some level I thought it might be like the Toronto Film Festival, where you can get by with okay-looking duds and you don’t have get all Ermenegildo Zegna. Not true here. I was told last night as I waited for my JFK flight to Casablanca that the rule for all Marrakech Film Festival attendees is shiny shoes, Donna Karan ties and freshly-pressed suits. If I’d been told abut the swanky dress code a day or two ago I would have packed accordingly, but I only found out last night. Do the math: I’ve been invited to come here to help publicize this festival, and because I wasn’t told about the dress code I’m more or less obliged to buy a sports jacket, a slick shirt and a tie in order to please my hosts?

On top of which cruddy wifi is a known HE deal-breaker. A really nice guy named Amin came in and fixed the wifi, he said, and it did seem to suddenly work. But then it crapped out again. And like I said, I could work from the hotel lobby for the next six days but I’ve got a lot to focus on and I’d rather not deal with the aggravation — no offense. So believe it or not I’m actually thinking about packing it in and flying back on Sunday or Monday, if I can. I don’t want to feel like a social fashion leper, I deeply resent having to buy clothes to fix the situation, and the bad wifi is just going to get in the way (I’ve got too much to work on and I’m missing all kinds of events back in NYC as it is) so it’s probably better to just cut bait. If something isn’t working out, why hang around?

Stray cat wandering around Casablanca Airport.