Mint Tea First...........Buisness Second

Trip Start Jan 07, 2010
Trip End Apr 12, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Morocco  ,
Sunday, February 7, 2010

After a delay of 20 minutes for the train it finally pulled into the station. The first
thing I remember seeing besides the train were faces........the train was full of people,
some standing and some sitting. As I got on the train I searched for a both that could
accomadate me and my backpack. I found a spot to sit and the 3.5 hour journey was about
to begin. The train was hot with no airflow, but it was just tolerable. The countryside
went from flat green farm land to hilly terraine and finally to a rocky desert topography.
As I jumped off the train and started my fairly long walk to the station and I was
greeted by a wounderful glass walled station. I entered and saw a McArabia advertisement
and considering I was pretty hungry I figured I would try it out, and it was pretty tastey!
As I stepped out the station I immediately had a sence to relief because the environment
and vibe was awsome compared to Casa. The streets were wide, buildings were pretty and
the odd tourist pack was visible which I hoped ment more English speakers here!!Upon arrival at my strangely located Hostel I was immediately greeted by a friendly
gentalmen who sat me and a couple other recent arrivals down around a table. The next thing
the happen was a tea pot with Mint Tea! In Morocco this Tea is a big deal and its rude to
decline from ANYONE who offers. Here it was tea and a meet and greet than buisness. They
gave me a map and throughly went through it was me which was awsome! This hostel has a home
feeling to it. It is smaller with about room for 25 people. The roof has a tent thing with
cushions and a table chair spot which I later enjoyed relaxing on the roof outside. I find
it amazing how so many scooter/motorcycles/bikes/cars/vans/trucks and people can move down
some of these small and narrow streets! People's shoulders are sometimes brushed by
mirrors, its absolutely a crazy experience.

I made some friends pretty quick and listened to some stories about speeding tickets and
unable to make it up the mountain here due to SNOW I eventually ended up in the best hostel
bed so far. The blanket was an actual blanket! The next day I made more friends which
in the evening we decided to go get some supper and we ended up eating in Djemaa el -Fna
Square, which is a famous square in the middle where by day is full of entertainers, snake charmers, shops, monkeys, orange juice stands and many other venders and such. By night it becomes for of energetic party with a GIGANTIC outdoor food court where they physically get in front of you and try to get you to eat at their booth. It is extremely difficult to move through!! After we had an encounter with a local performer who pulled us into the center of his little party and did some music and magic for us.

Me walking around quiet street taking some pictures when local notices and comes over to talk. We will call him Tool. Tool tells me some facts about the area and blah blah balh. I asked something about a Hamman which is a public bath. He says come, come look and takes me to a Hamman just around the corner and we enter and I see the entrance into one of these baths where you can get washed by someone and messaged and enjoy some hot water and steam. Hot water is a luxury around here. So these baths are very common and not sexual. The guy than takes me into this home to where a lady and man are by a stove doing some baking. I than point to some cookies saying those look good. He gives me one and I step back and take a picture..... bad decision!!  The man starts yelling something and Tool says something about some money for the photo, and i was like "ok, no probl." So I give him some Durham's from my pocket and place them near him. He looks at them and picks them up and THROWS it!  Mean while the women starts huffin about something and Tool than goes and gets the money and places where the cookie he took for me was and says money for the picture.... im ready to leave this bullshit so I put a few more Durhams down and walk out before I get thrown into the furnace. Im sorta insulted by the man throwing my money so I ask Tool to show me where Palace entrance is since im outta here. I decide I will give him some cash so I give him 10 dH and hes like common 20? Im like forget it and start walking away and he asks about if I smoke and I should come see some smokes at his house and i've just had enough of him too now so I just start walking away. TOOL!

Story 2:
I had a glass of delicious freshly squeezed orange juice in main square and then left for some exploring. I later pass through the area and decide I will get another glass. Oranges are everywhere here! So they are very cheap. I decided to return to the same booth for another glass, quite happy with the service. Kittie Corner from his book about 20 m away is a guy selling the same stuff but all rowdy and try to get people to his both. He was calling me and such and I just kinda brush him off and focus on my guy's booth. I enjoy my orange juice and start walking away and the dude (26ish) give me the finger and keeps yelling F*** You!!! I just gave him the frown and kept walking. I shoulda took a picture....guess I didn't want a Machete in the back!

Story 3:
Small boy wants money for some napkins, I show him a Euro and to give it to him if he just does something cool like a quick dance or something. So we do a brief jig and I give him the money. THAN he is forever holding his hand out for more and talking. Eventually after asking my friends for money as well with no results to looks at me and kicks the coin at ME!!! He than starts to leave and I picked it up and threw it at his back! He than tried to find the coin but couldn't since it was night. REally tho!, money is money!

The journey to the Sahara Desert is turning out to be an amazing struggle, email after email, phone call after phone call, no after no, disappointment after disappointment. I feel as if my main goal and focus of Morocco might be impossible without blowing all my money... Today I felt the first bit of feeling that I might
not be able to do this, I than punched myself and said I WILL MAKE IT, and it will be worth it and extremely rewarding!!! I will sit on a 250 m sand dune after a camel ride and watch that sunset. I will than sleep in a tent in the desert only to get up early and watch the sunrise! Than and only than will I leave this country, Period.

I am enjoying myself here. It is unlike anything ive ever experienced before, the sights, sounds, people and culture is very different. Here they beep all the time, seems to mostly be an act of courtesy tho to make someone away they are coming near them..Different than the New York and Los Angeles honking I experienced.....

Jot Notes:
-Eoghan from England- Rented a scooter from some random dude to take to the Atlas Mountains here to snowboard. Very Cool!  Crashes in streets and has rip and scrape on his jeans. I laughed soo hard at
that story!
-Girls asked for Penis Messages
-Smoked first Hookah!
-Amazing Hospitality
-Paid 90 dh for train here
-10dh for ice cream
-Muslims pray about 5 times a day
-Mint Tea -Delicous (12 cubes of sugar tho)
-Shower besides, nearly above toilette
-5dh coke
-Got haircut by local barber, interesting...
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