My first 24 hours in Morocco

In hindsight, I should have seen all the weird signs before a massive shit storm came down on me and I got scammed out of a few hundred dollars, narrowly avoided a corrupt arrest, and found myself stealthily roaming the streets of Tangier, running away from a stalker and considering buying a disguise wig. I should have trusted my gut from the beginning but after being precautious for 10 months, I wanted to open myself and trust other people. Also I only had great experiences in Turkey with locals so I was a bit jaded. But Tangier is not the place to get to know locals, and letting my guard down for just a moment led to all the trouble I have mostly avoided through everywhere I have been. I can’t get over all the signs of something strange going on that I didn’t see in Tangier after I met Saiid and how everything he said was vague and at times contradictory. Where did he come from? Who was his family? What did he do?

I can only be grateful that Wahid, a local he attempted to involve in the scam, turned out to be a decent man and told me what Saiid’s intentions were, advising me to change hotels to one far from the one Saiid knew I was at, and to get out of Tangier ASAP the next day. So there I was, freaking out of my skin at the bus stop waiting for the next bus to Chefchaouen. Even though the bus station was less than a 10 minute walk from my hotel, I took a cab in fear the Saiid would see me on the street. He knew I was headed to Chefchaouen and every car I saw looked like it could be his. I was living in fear.

Seedy Tangier port

Seedy Tangier port

It wasn’t until Chefchaouen that I was finally able to breathe again. Wahid had informed me that Saiid was connected with the police and could make trouble for me if I didn’t continue to bribe him. All this stress led my body to break out in massive hives, and an unbearable body rash. I rushed to the hospital immediately upon arrival in Chefchaouen and the doctor sat me in a dirty plastic lawn chair, giving me a shot of Cortizone without wearing sanitary gloves. But when I asked how much it cost he cheerfully said, “It’s my pleasure! Happy Ramadan!” So I got a free treatment. Ramadan is Muslim Christmas and it’s great being here for it! And I am feeling alright again. Tangier really put me down down down and I felt like I should be at home. And it made me hate Morocco. But my spirits are being slowly renewed and cheers to the end of my journey.

And by the way I don’t really hate Morocco. In fact, give it some time and I will probably love it, just like everywhere else that took me time to acclimate to the culture and customs. I am now trying to get over the Tangier trials by saying I just paid a few hundred dollars for a Real Tangier Experience. And now I have a story.

I can’t wait to see you in two months!

A woman painting the walls Chefchaouen blue

A woman painting the walls Chefchaouen blue

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~ by ceciliabien on September 23, 2009.

One Response to “My first 24 hours in Morocco”

  1. damn CB that shit is scary I’m glad you’re ok 🙂

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