L’Observateur : Moroccan, Less Talkin’ Edition

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When we were in the souk in Marrakech, we saw a toy train set which had two battery-powered cars. One carried George W. Bush and the other carried Osama Bin Laden. Bush chases him around in a circle but never catches him.

If I ever come back to Morocco, it will be from southern Spain. I will revisit Asilah and Chefchaouen, hike in those environs, and go back. That being said, I doubt I will ever return.

EasyJet is the cattle-call airline of Europe. Much like America’s Southwest Airlines, there are boarding groups and no seating assignments. On my way to Venice last month, I was the last one “on the plane,” but not really, because they loaded us on a bus on the tarmac which took us to the plane, so I was the first one on the plane because I was the first one off the bus. This time, I was the second-to-last person on the plane by design, and of course, there was a seat in the second row. All the other rows had at least two people in them. Watching all the people crowd to get on the plane after standing around for a half an hour really cracks me up. Like they’re going to get their own row or something. What possesses people to want to be the first one on a plane, then have to get up once or twice to accommodate the other people? It makes absolutely no sense to me.

Anyway, so I’m seated between two sixty-something-year-old Moroccan women wearing their head scarves and whatnot. About twenty minutes after takeoff, the one to my left started praying to Allah and I wondered if she was concerned about the fact that she was facing north.

Casablanca’s airport is called Mohammed V, and the French-language voice-over on the train announces your stop: “Mohammed Cinq.” Really? I always figured if Jesus could walk on water that Mo could at least swim. Ba-dum-crash.

Fifteen years ago, I was traveling between Holland and Germany on a train, and as I was staring out the window, I remember feeling completely free for the first time in my life. When I was riding the bus from Tenehir to Er-Rachidia last week, staring out the window, it happened for the second time. So elusive, that.

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