A Month in Morocco: Waiting for the Bus

The bus station, like most round the world, was situated in a derelict part of town. I arrived before it opened and found the main entry blocked by multiple piles of yellow vomit, one being consumed by a feral tabby. When an employee arrived, she aptly hosed things down then waved me inside. When she confirmed that I was traveling to Marrakech (I wasn’t), we … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: Waiting for the Bus

A Month in Morocco: Wasting Time

In Ouarzazate, I stayed at a dark hotel called Hotel Amlal. And though on most days I’d leave early and come back late, I’d see the same man in a djellaba sitting in a recliner while staring at a wall and smoking a cigarette. We’d exchange pleasantries; I’d say, “salam alaykum,” and he’d say, “alaykum salam,” but I don’t think he ever actually looked at … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: Wasting Time

A Month in Morocco: Desert Elder

Ouarzazate (War-za-zat) has a notable history in the film industry. It is home to a major studio (Atlas Film), regularly used for major Hollywood productions. Films such as Babel, The Hills have Eyes, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Lawrence of Arabia, Indigenes and many others have been filmed here. With my guide Abdul, I walked along the “Moroccan Nile,” where less than a week earlier flash … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: Desert Elder

A Month in Morocco: Atlas Dragons

I was ecstatic to leave Marrakech. I don’t doubt that there’s an amazing amount of history there and plenty to see if one seeks it out, but I was completely over it in less than two days. My list of grievances against the ancient city included an over-crowded hostel with a leechy pervert whose path I kept crossing, countless objectified monkeys on chains in the … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: Atlas Dragons

A Month in Morocco: Shave and Shine

In Fez I walked past many late-night hair salons. Every shop I passed was booming with business even when everything else was closed. Men sat in the chairs getting the sort of treatment I remember my grandfathers talking about—straight razors, eyebrow edging, and slaps of aftershave all while discussing the day’s headlines and talking shit. I felt an unearned nostalgia for such an experience and … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: Shave and Shine

A Month in Morocco: Berber Hospitality

My guide through the Rif Mountains was Habte. For four days I called him Abdi. It wasn’t until our final day together that I realized I had been blowing it. As I watched him write his email in my journal, I said, “Your name is Habte? Not Abdi?” He replied, “Yes, it’s Habte. Tourists have trouble hearing the difference so it’s no big deal.” I … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: Berber Hospitality

A Month in Morocco: Blame it on the Hash

Since I brought along my sub-zero sleeping bag, I didn’t think sleeping in a hotel without heat would be a big deal. But when I noticed the thick blankets the hotel provided, I was a little concerned. And boy did it got cold. Wicked cold. So cold that when I finally stopped shivering in my cocoon I didn’t want to get out for anything. Not … Continue reading A Month in Morocco: Blame it on the Hash