Tuesday, October 11, 2016


DISCLAIMER:  All of this stuff has been on my Facebook page.  Not everyone reads my Facebook page.  For some odd reason.   That's why it has been cobbled together here into a rather long blog - different audiences.


My fixer is a fail.

After all that crap it turns out that the guy who was in the place we couldn't look at will be staying for another week.

And the fixer didn't have any place else.

Starting to think he's not a great fixer.

So I will be staying in the 'so you're lost again' medina for another month.

Since it turns out I'm staying here, I partially unpacked my bags (was prepped for a quick escape) and sat down to talk with the owners.  I expressed concern that at first the laundry took one day for a turn around.  Then two.  Then four.  With excuses (though I didn't say that part).  They agreed to two.  Great, I told them because no matter how busy you are, I still don't have many clothes.

Turns out the lady is done cooking for me as well.  Just cooking for one and making 20-30d from it is not enough profit to interest them.  Sad because her cooking was good.

Though if someone sets the price for goods and services they should stick with it instead of saying 'well, we don't want to do that any more'.

I didn't press the food point because laundry is the key here.  After a month I have found no place that does laundry here.  This is pretty abnormal for poor regions.  In most countries towns have gone one of two ways.  By the kilo (usually a buck or two per) or by the piece.  Also known as the 'rip off way'.  Towns are usually one or the other as people rarely have independent or unique thoughts and seem to do what their neighbors are doing.  Yes, that is a statement about humanity in general.

I also asked how often they normally clean the room.  Every three days.  I had it cleaned once in the last month.  Can I get it cleaned twice this month?  Yes.

So we'll see how it goes.  I'm not really happy to be staying here but it saves money over going out and looking for a new place in a different town.

I'm going to try to push my fixer to find a place within a couple weeks.  I'd like to have a place already lined up.  Although with the shitty business practices here, it would not surprise me to have everything lined up then have the deal fall through.  I've said it before but when countries are poor it is because the people are poor.  When the people are poor there is usually a reason.  Often it is shitty attitudes about business or poor business practices.

As a side note, I was careful to get the landlord's wife in on the whole conversation.  Since it was about business, this was not a normal thing to do ("Men talk business") but my reasoning is that she actually does all the work (laundry, cleaning, etc) so I wanted to go forward with her being involved rather than just getting told "and this is how it will be" which I think is more normal around here.

Different places, different customs, different sexism.


Saw something interesting today during my usual breakfast.

In pretty much every country are what I mentally think of as the 'scruffy' people.  These are to be avoided for numerous reasons.  They may try to beg off you, steal from you or perhaps even have some of their lice come for a visit.  They are the dirt poor folks.  Within this, I will refer to one of them as 'the scruffy man'.

Yes, I know, it's very sad.  Yes, we should all feel bad for them.  But if you want to contribute money, food or drugs to them, do it directly or it will get sucked up into operating costs.  There are those people who like to speak out on their behalf, but I don't see them actually doing anything beyond that so they can STFU.


I was eating breakfast when the scruffy man exited a small shop right next to me at a slightly rapid amble.   Two guys came out and grabbed him.  I think one was a customer of the shop and the other the shop keeper.  Some of the displays got knocked over.  The scruffy grabbed onto a metal garbage can to try to avoid being hauled back into the shop.

At this point, I was thinking it was possible that he was a shoplifter who was going to get a bit of 'justice'.  As we learned on the Simpsons, 'there is no justice like angry mob justice'.  About a dozen people rapidly formed up around the yelling men as the scruffy was hauled into the store.

I hurried up with my breakfast as all this drama was going on about five meters away.

Not sure what was going on inside the store but eventually, a couple police officers drifted over.  More yelling and waving of hands from the shopkeeper and several members of the audience who were being more entertained than even Moroccan television.

At this point, the police allowed out the scruffy who was crying and for some reason had his bare ass exposed.  His pants were down around his knees.  Didn't spot any underwear.

I understand beating the shit out of someone but what was going on with him being exposed like that was curious.  Extra shame?

As I moved off (again, paying up front 'pays off') the police released the crying humiliated scruffy man back into the wild.

Sadly, the waiter of my restaurant doesn't speak English or I could have gotten the story from him.

Since I was the only white guy at what could have quickly turned into either a mob or a good chance to pickpocket a third phone, I moved off and got some corners in.  (By corners, I am referring to the correct way to throw pursuers within an urban environment - take more random corners instead of hurrying off in a straight line.)  I didn't think anyone was pursuing me but when a group of people become agitated (the cops decision was not popular) it is time to quietly disappear.

Interesting side note:  My friend David H. thinks the would be thief was probably getting a caning.  That would answer a lot of questions - why the cop let him go, why he was crying and why he had his pants down.  I was hoping they were saying "This man tried to steal from us - let us rip his dick off."


Had one of the few times I wished I still carried a pistol today.

There is a heavy noisy security gate, usually closed, where I am staying.  It was left just a bit open.

My thoughts in order:

Wonder if everyone is dead inside?
Is the killer still around?
Is my stuff still there?

Noted that I didn't have a pistol.  Probably for the best here.  Even if the government approved of it, pickpockets would have likely stolen it.

Slammed the door closed behind me and advanced quickly into the room.  Shock and awe (awe - look how FAT this guy is) and pretty much no good reflexes or strength.

Guests were in the main room, still alive.

My stuff was even in my room.

Best day ever.


It turns out what happened is even stranger than what I had thoughts.  Got the story from my fixer today (a day or two after the event) and it was the guy himself who pulled down his pants.

To shit in the store.

Apparently, the stress over being caught shop lifting was too much for him and so he pulled down his pants and took a shit.

The reason this particular shop was targeted - the guy running it as well as his father before him (who could have been robbed by this scruffy's father) have vision problems.

The reason the cops released the scruffy back onto the streets?  He is mentally ill.  Much like in America, nobody gives a shit about the mentally ill and they are 'released back into the wild'.

So that's what happened.  He just wanted to take a shit in the store.  Amazing.


"Eat my shorts." - Bart Simpson.

Splits appeared in my shorts like the dry ground during a massive earthquake.

Huge surprise since I've been wearing them pretty much every day for about a year.  The shorts are made from some sort of thin, flighty material.

Probably polyester though I'm not sure.  Normal people would just throw them out and get another pair of shorts but since it is harder to find things my size here than say Logan becoming a champion pole vaulter, I went into the souk to find someone to fix them.

Amazingly, they were able to...er...fix them.  Price asked, .60.  Yes, less than a dollar.  Paid him twice that because I was happy they are wearable.

My plan is to try to get more clothing when I get back to the land of the fatness.


I eat at some restaurants where the locals do a double take of me when they walk in.

One guy asked the owner in Arabic what I could tell was the equivalent of 'who the fuck is that?'

The owner answered 'sadiquon' and 'American' in with the rest.  Sadiquon is 'friend' in Arabic.

Spending $1.50 to get the restaurant forks has really paid off.

After a month here, it seems that a lot more people know me than I know.  Peter would not deny that I have a piss poor memory.  But it still surprises me how many people say "Hello, Virginia!" to me.

I just tell people I am from Virginia since it's the last place I lived in the USA and there is really no where 'I am from' other than the USA in general.

Also, the waiters of the restaurants like me enough that they make it a point to chase off beggars and such when they come to try to get money from me.

Aside from the fucking pickpockets here, I find the locals very friendly.


So it's after dinner and I'm making my way through the narrow passageways of the medina when I come across a blind man.  White cane, dark glasses, tapping away.

Wanted to give him a sign I was there so I opened my mouth to say something.

And belched.

Not quite a 'hilariously blows the hats and a toupee off random people' but it was two tone, very deep and went on for over five seconds.

Tap, tap, tap around me.

I'm thinking, Logan, you are a lighthouse for the blind.


Another trip to the nearby beach town with my fixer.

Not happy with my fixer.  (Yes, this is a recurring theme.)

The  beach town looks OK.  It is fairly quiet and deserted since it is off season.  Good place just to 'take it easy' and be able to walk around without pushing through crowds of people nor getting lost in a giant maze.

We went to two places today, despite the fixer saying he had three.  I've learned to not believe him on simple things.

The first place was the 'oh, the people have decided to stay longer' place we went to before.  They pulled the same shit again this time.  I told the fixer "We are done with that place."  He agreed.  Then he tells me he thinks they are trying to hold out to rent to students.  From what he says, they are mellow, hard working and pay their bills here.  Not like the 'lets drink, take drugs, fuck and party' college students I'm use to in the USA.  (Disclaimer:  Not all college students are like that.  Just the fun ones.  Who probably don't have to pay for their own education.  I wish I could have done that.  Oh well.)

We went to another place.  Despite repeatedly telling the fixer my hard cap for price is 300 USD/month, this place is 370.  Plus electricity.  Fuck that, says I.  Which is a pity because they were nice places.  (For that kind of money, honestly, I could be in a country I actually WANT to be in.)  One in particular - very roomy and open.  It had a second bedroom and a living room I probably would never need to hang out in.  All my time is spent sitting at the computer and grinding through time.  I never watch a TV nor 'just sit on the couch to relax or read'.  A living room is not necessary to...um...live.

We were going to go to a third place but hey, that one is currently occupied but 'we could see similar rooms'.  I told the fixer "I have no interest in seeing 'similar' rooms - I want to see the actual room that would be rented."  This is one of the stupid games they are always playing.  You want a horse?  These are similar to the one I would sell you.  What kind of idiot buys based on that?  Stupid games.  When will the real room(s) be ready?  Friday.  I said tell him we'll be back on Monday.  Why Monday?  To give you time to find more places.  No, I don't want to wander around this town looking for places with you - that's what I am paying you for.

I told the fixer the next trip to the beach town will be the last.  If he can't get me set up with a small apartment for rent after three visits out there, he's done.  Each time we go out there, he is expecting some money 'for trying' so I give him five bucks.  Honestly, it's like getting a 'participation trophy'.  I don't see the point.

Thinking he's not one of the great fixers.

Honestly, I'm planning on him to fail.  If he succeeds, great - those plans are easy.  Now I need to figure out what to do should he (probably) fail.

I'm going to renew my visa for another three months (despite not wanting to be here) because there is no where easy and close to travel to.  The closest countries are in the dreaded Schengen zone.  Everything else would require flying to or is just worse.  So, I'm stuck in Morocco.

My next thought is 'change towns/cities because I'm bored here or stay because I'm living cheaply?

Might do a combination.  I've been here for two months (an eternity for Logan) and might sit through one more month because I'm saying money and the Spanish Enclave (read as 'give me that old time colonization') is the place to renew the visa (alternatively named Sebta and Ceuta for those who care) and it's about an hour away.  After that, it is possible to go somewhere else but...

That would cost more money.

And I'm trying to save as much as possible.  Currently living (without alcohol if you can believe it) for about twenty USD per day.  This is necessary because I'm saving up for LHI2TSC.  And a new computer which can play modern games.

Wanting to stay close to Portugal.  When the internet starts again (Morocco internet sucks bad.  On, off, on, off.  WTF.) I'm going to do some more research on it.  Can I afford to stay for a couple months?  It would be quite a nice break from Morocco.  I've heard from numerous people that it is cheap.  Plus, I could fly out of there (or get over to Spain and fly from there - where ever the airfare is cheaper) to get to the USA to start my big trip.


{{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 | Thailand: Bangkok | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2018}} Ukraine: Kiev - Chernihiv - Uzhhorod

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