The abundance of carbs here, in Morocco, is ruining my emaciated malaria bod.
Over breakfast I doted on a rather concrete itinerary, where in, I was on my way to Chefchaouen.
The blue city, at last.
I walked to the empty bus station, near the madina.
A casually dressed employee said “Tangier“, asking me where I was going, by guessing.
In this moment, a feeling overwhelmed me.
“Zagora” I responded.
It felt right.
Earlier that week in Marrakesh, Sylvia and I talked about the Sahara.
The tranquility of desert.
And I, in true feeble fashion, confessed I didn’t have the energy to go.
Me, going to the Sahara, would be comparable to visiting Disneyland with mono.
I’m there, but barely.
But, this could be my only opportunity to see the Sahara properly.
Be determined Bobby.
Here I go.
From Fes to Zagora.
What the casually dressed homie at the bus station didn’t tell me, a point I would argue is his job, was that the bus will stop in Marrakesh first, a massive detour, then take me to the town of Quazerzate.
A 160 kilometres from Zagora.
This casually dressed homie was also making prices up on the spot.
Mildly offending the perception I have of myself.
Do I look ridiculously gullible?
A Borg like humanoid that payes whatever I’m told?
An ATM, where no card is needed?
“220 dh” he said.
I gave him 220.
“No, 230 dh”, he said.
Then he quickly changed the price again to, 240 dh.
I was suspicious of the casually dressed homie, to say the very least.
“Give me this” I said, pulling the original 220 dirham from his thieving fingers.
I went inside the bus station, as the now panicked, casually dressed homie, followed me.
“Here here” he said running past me, now leading me to an official ticket seller.
“Zagora” I said, interrupting the old man as he chatted to a friend.
He took a calculator then spun it so I could read the display.
I looked at the casually dressed homie, who was charging me 240dh for the same ticket.
I realized in that moment, that very moment.
He didn’t work there.
He was casually dressed because, when you’re unemployed, every day is casual Friday.
I hated him.
What he did, or tried to do.
The deception, the greed, is everything I hate about Africa.
The world really.
But the concentration of it here, on our mother continent, seems far too common.
Testing my already shaky trust in people.
Punishing me because of my natural, trusting disposition.
When I go back in time, I’m ripping throats at that shady bus station.
“I said Zagora, but you sold me a bus ticket to Marrakesh, when the train would have taken me half the time.”
“You lied to me about the price. And that, casually dressed homie, was your mistake” I say, in my macabre fantasy.
A fantasy in which I’m slowly drinking grape Fanta out of a really long twisty straw.
After the sounds of me sucking into an empty soda can ecco out into the abandoned, dark bus station.
“Sorry Dickhead but now I’m ripping your throat”
So do I.
What he didn’t realize, what he couldn’t realize is that the chinese knock off, Nike cross trainers I bought in Gabon, have made me Steve fucking Prefontaine.
As I approach him from behind, I punch through the back of his neck, grabbing his throat muscles as he screams a desperate Arabic prayer.
I stare into my bloody palm, his voice box farting something about being sorry.
Then I drive him to the hospital, where he’s immediately air lifted to the Harvard School of Medicine.
After successfully reaching my Kick Starter goal of 3 million dollars, his surgery, and first ever voice box prosthetic implant, is a success.
The first words the casually dressed homie says to me after the surgery are, “I’m sorry I treated you as if you were a Borg like humanoid, that payes whatever you’re told”.
The road to Zagora from Quazerzate is a twisty one.
So twisty in fact, several of the Muslim ladies were barfing on the way.
After one particular stretch of Stop. Go. Stop. Go accelerate. Stop. Sharp turn, stop.
My mouth started to salivate.
My body’s way of preparing for a relaxing puke.
NOT TODAY MOTHERFUCKER!
I hung in there.
Thinking about my Grandma.
I deployed all my tricks.
Eventually, when I arrived in the quaint village of Zagora, I felt immediately at home.
Eerily at home.
I rented a room in a large, very old building.
A place I’m calling, the Grand Moroccan Hotel, for 50dh a night.
Cementing Zagora as the cheapest place I’ve stayed, since leaving Canada.
Less than 7$ a night.
Now that I was removed from cities and the survival structures that precipitate there.
The greasy hustlers.
The visa shit.
Give me money.
I felt like I was healing.
In the company of kids playing, long walks to the river and surrounding palm forests, I finally found my peace.
My strength spring.
The choice to be there, however unexpected, was wise.
Soon, I would quest for a purer peace by going further south, Into the Sahara.
No guided tour for me thanks, I’m just going to walk into the desert.