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Friday, May 31, 2013

YE GODS I'M STILL IN FES

FES

The machines within the old city dispense only up to 2000 MAD.  If you have to expose your 'rusty sheriffs badge' to your bank every time you withdraw money (like me) then take care of that within the new town where you can withdraw up to 4000 MAD.  The taxi ride both ways will be approximately 20-25 MAD on the meter.

The metered, regulated 'petite' taxis are unable to go to the airport.  This inconveniently lies just outside of the city of Fes.  Therefore, you are stuck taking the overpriced 'grande taxi' for 120-150 MAD.  If you want to save a couple dirham, take the petite taxi to the train station.  From there, it is reported a cheap bus sometimes goes to the airport.



MOROCCO ON DRUGS

You get offered drugs several times a day.  In one of the cities I was in, I had a conversation with a tourist about it.

Tourist:  "You want some hash?"
Logan:  "Thanks, but I'm really not interested in spending time in a Moroccan prison."
Tourist:  "Hash is legal in Morocco."
Logan:  "Really?  What's your source?"
Tourist:  "Really - it's legal."
Logan:  "Good to hear - but again, what is your source?"
Tourist:  "Um.  The guy who sold me the hash."

I just stared at him like he was stupid.  Don't know because doesn't want to know...



DEATH AND REBIRTH OF THE NETBOOK

My netbook was demanding a systems administrator with a boot disc so I took it down to Abdulla's Computer Shop for him to take a look.  After waiting an hour and a half in front of the shop (confusing the Moroccans) he showed up and tinkered with it for five minutes, charged me 50 MAD and I was on my way.

Were I in the USA, I'd still need to get it fixed to strip the information off it and stick it into a new laptop.

Fuck netbooks.  Never buy a netbook.  You can't play games.  If you're a tourist, you may not have time but as a long term traveler, time is not your enemy.  You need the games.

When I get to the states, I'm going to see if I can afford a new laptop and perhaps get my computer expert friend, Bert, to help me select one.  I'm not sure if he reads this blog but as I type this statement I wonder if he feels that someone has walked on his grave.

When I buy the laptop, I want to paint the top of it some sort of unwholesome color.  Where's your resale value now, bitch?  Planning ahead for thieves.



STRAY CATS

Strays in Fes seem to be 'city supported' pets.  People put out food for them, make homes for them and so on.  To my eyes, this seems very odd indeed.  Especially when there are so many beggars and such.



MOROCCAN ARABIC

This is a pretty weird dialect of Classical Arabic.  It incorporates French, Berber and lots of slang.

Berber itself has three (or more?) distinct dialects.

Here, Classical Arabic is taught in schools and is considered the 'administrative language'.

Every day in Morocco, you get to speak a mixture of English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, etc.



TOUR GUIDES SUCK

Aside from my earlier rants on tour guides, they really suck.  Every day, they gather like priests before the alter of money at the gate to the medina and attempt to either guide or scam (depending if they have their government card - most don't) groups of silly tourists.

A group of three girls was looking like they were lost and I asked if they were looking for a place to stay.  Their price was lower than the one I was at so I couldn't help and move on.  One of the unlicensed 'guides' (read as a multi-lingual beggar) yelled at me helping tourists was not my job.  I laughed at him and moved on.  What a great bunch.  This is why God invented flame throwers.

It is touts like these why there is no camaraderie between tourists in countries like this...

Disclaimer:  I have met some qualified, professional, polite tour guides.  Usually, these are hired well before I see them and potentially before the people have entered the country.  They are expensive but if you are into tour guides, worth it.  Don't use the crap you find loitering around the gate if you are the kind of person who is too lazy to use wiki or just really wants a guide.



GESTURES

Preface - any time I discuss hands, I am talking only about the right hand.  The left hand is not used for anything other than wiping your ass and maybe carrying packages.  That's about it.

A very common gesture people often make when greeting/leaving someone is placing your hand on your heart.  Loosely translated, 'from the heart'.

Sometimes, people will move as if to kiss the hand when it is shaken and the other person usually pulls it away before it can be kissed.  As near as I can tell, the potential kisser is showing extreme affection, the other person is doing the equivalent of 'oh please'...



CRAP FOR SALE

One size fits nobody.  They mass produce the same crap and it's all the same size.  To me this is baffling.  Why are all hats the same size?



BUSINESS CARDS OR BUST

It is amazing how many hotels and hostels either have never thought of business cards or make lame excuses ('we just ran out' is popular) for not having any.  In many countries like Morocco, tourists 'do' the country by traveling to the same half dozen spots.  Clever places have plenty of business cards for tourists to exchange.  Others wonder why they don't have enough business.  Strange.



VIDEOS

Some friends of mine have a daughter named Jaylea.  She just turned twelve years old.  As a small present, I made some lovely videos suitable for children.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5...   (Note, for the slow of thinking those are links to five separate videos...)  While it is true they may be considered somewhat 'Loganesque', they contain no profanity.  Weird, I know.

A special thanks to Conner for help with filming and acting.  No, I don't think this is enough to get your own IMDB page.  Sorry.



COSTS

Ride to the airport:  120 to 150 MAD

Coffee, 6 MAD.  Note, it is always served in very small portions and doesn't seem much stronger than typical American coffee.

Minor computer fix, 50 MAD

Excellent straight razor shave, 20 MAD (+5 MAD tip).  The barber was actually very surprised at how much younger I looked with a shave.  I imagine in the states I will look pretty ancient as I refuse to shave myself any more.

2 comments:

  1. You didn't take the chance to wear a Fez in Fes? Then what is the point of you??

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b138/logan9a/Morocco%20Fes/SAM_3530.jpg

    ReplyDelete

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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