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Sunday, May 26, 2013

OUTSOURCING SUICIDE

MOROCCO NOTES

Conner and I had an experience considered very unusual even by Moroccans.  In Esauaria, we had little girls yelling 'fuck you' and throwing rocks at us.

The running joke is getting knifed.  "Sheek!"  There are a lot of times this is used, especially dead end allies.

Prices in Morocco are normally 20% to 50% of the initial asking price, depending on the object you are buying and how good you are at haggling.

A tangeen is a clay dish with a special cover over it.  Conner feels that most of Morocco smells like a mixture of tangeen and cat piss fermented together.

It's a constant struggle to get small bills here.  The big denomination bills are larger so it is possible to hide the smaller ones inside.  When they see only the large ones, they will give you change - but if they spot the small ones, they will demand them.  They do this despite having plenty of small change and the possibility of losing the sale by doing so.  I've no idea why.

Watch your ass if you drive here.  They have cops and speeding traps everywhere.

As with locals of most countries, it is better to speak with ones you have initiated conversation with.  If they approach you, the end result is usually to part you and your money.



CASABLANCA

From the time we arrived till the time we departed this cursed city, I had a very bad feeling about it.

The city itself is an odd contrast of slums dotted with four star hotels.

We got lucky upon arrival and met a tourist in a restaurant named James who took us to the kind of hotel you suspect is haunted by the ghosts of winos.   Fortunately, it was cheap.

There are hotels you worry about getting robbed in.  Others you worry about getting murdered in.  This one you worry about getting possessed by evil spirits in.

Both Conner and I hated Casablanca so much that we agreed watching movies would be a much better use of our time.  We watched the movie Casablanca and agreed that was a much better version than reality even though it was black and white and filled with Nazis.  Conner seemed to enjoy the movie "Top Secret" quite a bit and I was pleased to watch it subtly destroy parts of his brain.

In the actual Casablanca, the only people not yelling at you are ones trying to scam you.  The scammers may yell later, however.  Everyone seemed very angry about having to live there.

We got to watch the beginnings of a fist fight and possible riot after a small fender bender.

The entire time we were there, the sky was overcast and sullen, much like the staff at the place we stayed.  At night, the C.H.U.D.s came out, hungry for human flesh.

Avoiding this city will enhance your Moroccan experience.



THE ATTEMPTED TOILET PAPER HEIST

Conner and I were walking along, minding our own business.  When we got close, one guy started yelling at another and threw a stone in his direction to 'chase him off'.  The guy bumped into me and made a grab for my toilet paper.  Since Logan is a paranoid, suspicious sort, I kept my eighty cents of toilet paper away from the potential snatch artist.  He ran on and we glared at the initiator as we passed.



HOSTEL REVIEWS

Green Milk Hostel (Esauaria):  This hostel was built for and by hippies and upon hippy ideals.  Staying here you very much feel the 'love fest'.  Unfortunately, the walls were either made or painted with something that crumbles to the touch so your bed always feels sandy.  The guitar and bongo drum noises generally end around one in the morning.  The hosts love their work and love having you there.  They make a cheap (15 MAD) breakfast and dinner (35 MAD) so you can live there inexpensively.  This is restaurant quality food in a lively atmosphere.  I recommend booking ahead as it is likely to be full of hippies.  Conner and I would both stay here again.


Federatoion Royale Marocaine des Auberges de Jeunes (Casablanca):  70 MAD dorm room or 150 MAD for a room with two beds.  Bring your own toilet paper as they don't bother to stock any.  Dubious cleanliness and the people working there have long ago lost any interest in being nice or enjoying their work.  After dealing with the dust from the long un-aired room sleep came in the huge echoing building.  Breakfast is included but best avoided.
Picture by Conner Schweitzer of the wonderful showers in this hotel.  They inexplicably turn off the water for a couple hours every day, possibly to allow the cockroaches to breed.



OUTSOURCING SUICIDE

When someone commits suicide, the pain is left with the survivors.  They go through their lives with the hole left by the departed.

No longer.

Now, you can outsource to India for the person.  Lets say someone named (for example) named Jack Grey kills himself.  Now, from India, you can get a new Jack Grey.  He will be trained in (very) basic English, the the approximate size of Jack Grey, wear his clothing and live in his room.

India has many spare people.  It's a natural fit.



THE LOGAN TRAVEL COURSE

Obviously, this can't go on inside western Europe - much too easy there to travel.  You need to take it to a little rougher country where they haggle and such.

The course itself takes about a week and Conner has been kind enough to break down some of the realizations a person makes while being trained:

Day 1 & 2:  Logan is the smartest traveler on the planet.

Day 3 to 5:  The curtain begins to be pulled back.  Logan seems 'slightly eccentric'.

Day 6:  You learn Logan is not actually fluent in many languages.

Day 7:  You learn to apologize for Logan's behavior in the local language.  The realization hits that Logan stumbles through his travels using a mixture of humor and being a dick.



HAGGLING

When the person you are haggling with starts to foam at the mouth, you are getting close to the price.  Also, remember that no matter how low you go, they won't sell it to you if they don't make a profit.



CONNER QUOTES

"We are going to do that - despite if Logan is not inclined to do it.  Especially if he is inclined not to.

(To Logan)  "You're probably  the worst person to be sitting behind the (bus) driver."



LOGAN QUOTES

"Is it considered necrophilia if they are brain dead or do they have to have no pulse?"  (Thanks to Kevin D. for keeping this one alive.)

"Travel is the stories of all of the horrible shit that happens to you.  Everything else is sightseeing."

"Part of travel is getting used to the shit you wouldn't stand for in your own country."



DUO QUOTES

Logan:  "Logan is best in small doses."
Conner:  "That's true.  I definitely had more respect for you in the beginning."



PHILOSOPHY

The limitations people put upon themselves always astound me.  Whereas in America, we destroy strays, they don't in Morocco.  If I was a beggar here starving in the street, I guarantee I'd eat meat every night.  And have a lot of hides to sell.

(From some guy I met on a bus)  "The difference between a traveler and a tourist is that a tourist wants to go back to his native land unchanged.  A traveler accepts the fact he may die in a foreign land."

(From a buy I met at a coffee shop)  "A traveler without information is like a bird without wings."



TRAVELER'S TIPS

Before leaving on a journey, haunt 'army surplus stores'.  Find bags and such that have no emblem on them - they are generally very sturdy.



COSTS (after haggling)

Jellabayah (robe), 200 MAD

Local buses, 4 MAD

Bus to a different town, generally 100-150 MAD

Four pack of cheap toilet paper, 7 MAD

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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 - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster

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