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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH MIDGETS

WANDERING FES, MOROCCO

Conner and I were wandering around Fes, looking for places for Logan to sit and smoke as well as gifts for Conner to take to his loving family.  He had thought about purchasing a nifty Berber knife for his father.  Unfortunately, the quality is very substandard and most of the ones he examined were stamped 'made in Sweden'.  These things failed to impress Conner.

Therefore his father must cry himself to sleep every night for a year due to having no nifty Berber knife.

Note that because I can neither afford the weight (flying...) nor the cost I am unable to get gifts.  Sorry.

We then decided to go to the famous Fes tanneries we'd read so much about with another tourist we'd met.  The first place told us that the short walk up to the tannery was free but we were required to purchase some item.  What a scam.  The second place had no such restriction.

For a tannery, it stank much less than people would have you believe.  I'm not sure what kind of pansies they write the guide books for but I've smelled much worse.  Hell, a live donkey smells worse.

Shop keepers in Fes range between 'professionally nice' to 'complete dicks'.  One shop keeper told me I had a 'bad heart' because he didn't have a belt as long as I was looking for to wear 'Mexican Bandito' style.  I'd argue that if I had a flame thrower and burned him and his shop down then he could say I have a 'bad heart'.  Wish I had a flame thrower so much...

After manually burning down the shop, we continued our tour of the bazaars.  Everyone has pretty much the same crap.  On the surface, goods may appear to be creative but in actuality there seems to be almost no creativity in this part of the world.  Perhaps centuries ago there was but everyone is still making exact copies of that stuff since.  The prices they sell goods for vary wildly.  A scarf that was 250 MAD in one stall was a mere 50 MAD in another.

The lack of the 'creative gene' seems to extend to food as well.  In general there are four different types of food: 'couscous', a very filling rice dish; 'tangine', stuff baked in a unique clay pot'; meat on sticks and some pie thing with meat inside.  That's about it.  Really.  Everything else is a bad impression of foreign food.

Disclaimer: There may be a wildly creative Moroccan person somewhere.  Haven't yet seen any evidence of them.

Since Conner was flying out the next day, we went looking for a place with better wifi for Logan to live in.  Since I've got to stay over a week here, I decided insanity was a possibility without wifi.  We came across a very out of the way place hidden within the maze known as the 'Medina' (old city).  Compared to the dump we'd stayed in it was palatial.  The usual bargaining and such ensued and ended satisfactorily for all.  The owner demanded and received a down payment for the 'reservation'.

Showing up the next day, I discovered the very nice room I'd reserved was unavailable.  Rather than arguing with the brother I cooled my heels until the lady who I'd spoken with previously returned.  When speaking to the brother and son, odd stories emerged about the guest - how it was the parents or perhaps another guest.  When this sort of situation arises, always speak with the person you'd spoken to previously or get your money back and walk away.

The proprietress returned and put me in a different room for one night at a reduced cost which happened to match the amount I'd left for a down payment.  Promises were made that I'd get the great room at the previously agreed on price once the other guest had moved out.



CONNER QUOTE

(To Logan) "You've corrupted me way too much."



DUO QUOTE

Logan:  "Midgets are better than normal people."
Conner:  "They have all of the goodness of normal people compounded.  It's a question of volume."



PICK UP LINE  (Untested...)

"Lets fuck on a pile of skulls, the way God intended."



WHAT TO DO ABOUT FOLLOWERS

Sometimes you are walking around and a guy wants to attach himself to you or your group to act as an unplanned for tour guide.  The easiest way to ditch him is to either completely ignore him or stop walking and stare menacingly at him every time he tries to walk with you.  Both are considered rude but since this guy is basically a glorified beggar you should take firm action to ditch him.  Sometimes, they curse at you and tell you that if you don't want to talk to Moroccan men, you should have stayed in your own country.  Generally, they are scheming, evil, angry cocksuckers who should have been arrested by the police.  Whatever you do, don't give them money or you may never be rid of them.



ON HAGGLING

If you're not a 'hard bargainer' - or worse yet one of those namby pamby people who don't haggle because it makes them feel uncomfortable, guilty or they are too lazy to - you are regarded by the locals as a 'rich moron with money to burn'.  Amazing how many of them there are around Morocco.



FUN FRENCH FACT

The word for fish is 'poisson'.  Considering how close that is to 'poison', it well illustrates Logan's views on fish.



VIDEOS

Alambra Fortress 1, 2, 3, 4
Conner Capture
Marakesh (Morocco) Market 1, 2
Smell O Vision
Exit from Casablanca
Wake Up in Chefchawen
The Sams



COSTS (Fes)

Coffee and tea, 5 to 10 MAD.   By tradition, the mint tea is served in a sticky, dirty glass.

Room, grotty, 75 MAD/night/person

Room, nicer, 100 MAD/night/person

Room, a little nicer, 125 MAD/night/person including breakfast.  Note, this is an actual breakfast, not the old cereal and toast crap that flies as breakfast in Europe.

Laundry service (with subtle bargaining), 30 MAD

Airport shuttle (though there may be a significant walk with gear uphill out of the Medina involved), 150 MAD

Meal, average, 50-100 MAD including a non-alcoholic drink.

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia | Michigan | Illinois |

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