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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

FUN TIMES IN MOROCCO

SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO NOW?

Gosh Logan - why do you think our country is poor?

There are reasons.  Oh yes, lots of reasons.

Back to 'trying to find a new place to live' part - I've lost track.

Last I left the old couple, we'd established by Google Translate (love that program) they would get wifi installed in the house, TEST IT, then I'd come back.

I'd stressed 'test it before I come back' several times.

Why I even fucking bother I do not know.

They had the router there.  Not plugged in but hey, I suppose it is a step forward.  Plugged it in, loads of pretty lights and it doesn't work.  The password is printed on the back of the router and the password is printed on the router.  They even have some sort of letter in French with a couple more passwords.  Nothing works.  Fortunately, the store is two blocks away.  Two trips to it later and it turns out that men have to show up at the house and do something for some reason.

I've no idea why.

They had one of their daughters there who spoke rough English so the conversation went quicker.

She again stressed they wanted a 3000 dirham (one month, about $300) deposit.  I stressed we'd already agreed that wasn't happening.

Then the father produced a contract he wanted me to sign.

Naturally, it is in Arabic.

They seemed shocked that I didn't want to sign it.  I've never had a contract in any of the homes I've stayed in before.  Hell, at some I've never even shown ID.  "Who would sign something they couldn't read?"

The deal is looking like it is pretty much on the fence.

They agreed to have one of their kids come out to translate the contract on Monday.  I'm starting to wonder how much I want to stay here.

Strike that - I already know I'm not terribly happy in Morocco but I must admit it is helping me to save money.  Partially because there is no fucking alcohol to drink.

No alcohol makes Logan a sad bunny.

They seemed a bit shocked I didn't want to start living there immediately.  "What do I want with a place that has no internet?" I asked.

That seemed to shock them a bit.

The less developed the country, the less important the internet seems to be to older people.  It annoys them that there is something they don't use nor understand that people are now judging their homes with.

I can understand that.  But really - what the fuck do I want with a place that has no internet?

So on Monday, I am to return (no specified time - hopefully they will phone me) to see if they have working internet and get the contract translated.  I need to also give them a xerox of my passport.  That's no problem, happy to do so.  Not planning on doing anything that will make them sad if I live there.

But if there is no internet or the contract is not to my liking, then the next day I need to either renew my rent at the place I am currently staying or move to a different town.

Moving to a different town does sound good as I'm sick of this one - however I've figured out the cheap places here.

On top of that, I am suspecting the people who run the place I'm staying may be a bit sick of me.  Mainly because of the laundry.


How did it end?

Well, after some thought - and checking with the people I'm renting from to see if they'd like me for another month - I just ended up staying where I am at.

Not loving it but also not loving Morocco all that much either.

So moving around in it is probably not going to help all that much.

I was just getting 'pain in the ass' vibes from the people who I was looking on renting from in the beach town.  If there is one thing I've learned it is that after they've got the money, shit ain't gonna get better.  It usually gets worse.  Since getting a refund is about as easy as regrowing a severed limb, it's best not to give up the money unless you have only warm and fuzzy feelings.

Needless to say, my half fixer half beggar was not fucking thrilled.

Because he'd have thrown a fit if I'd said the reason for ultimately opting out was because I'd gotten that 'bad feeling' about it, I just harped on the contract.  He retorted that a lot of people come from Spain in order to make pornos here.  First - pornos here?  Really?  Going to a heavily religious country to make pornos?  Weird.  Second - how does the contract stop that actually?

He muttered darkly about not getting money, tried to talk me into going back out there three times after I told him I'd already paid for my lodging here and spoke of going to a different town to try his luck.

As though I might stop him.

I politely apologized to him but paying for failure doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  He'd already gotten a minimal amount out of me 'for the effort' on various unproductive trips out there.

Didn't bring up the visa renewal as I'm pretty sure I can figure that out myself, though if he is around I might end up paying him for an escort just to keep him happy.  Making enemies who deal in the grey market and think I owe them something - not a high priority.

So I'm still living in the same place.  But, it is close to GTFO when that eventually comes up in a few months.  Due to the upcoming Christmas (still might be a problem even in a Muslim country due to Christian tourists) who knows - I might be stuck here even longer.  Le sigh.



FUCKING OUCH

Yesterday, I was out on my regular walk.  I even have regular routes set up for coffee and water stations.  Unlike in shape young people (thinking of Travis here, the healthy bastard) I don't walk fast and need rest stops from time to time.  But I do make some decent distance.

As I'm walking, it felt as though I stepped on something.  Resistance then it broke type of thing.  Kind of like stepping on a fairly hard plastic bead which then breaks.

Unfortunately, I didn't actually step on anything.  That shit was all inside my foot.

Swayed but didn't fall from the pain.  Just stood there with what I'm sure was an unusual look on my face.

Unlike other poor countries with tuk tuks roving the streets looking for fares, here the taxis pretty much go on set routes.  Translation - no fucking taxis for Logan.

At this point, I could hear the voice of my travel coach (Adam) in my ear saying "Don't be such a pussy - walk it off!"

Since there were a bit over eight kilometers between me and my destination, I had to do just that.  No idea what was wrong with my foot but the pain was enough to completely blot out the normal pain from my knees and those calluses which form on your feet from walking in sandals a lot.

Refreshing to be free of those little pains...

Eventually, I slowly limped my way back home.

The next day dawned, the foot is a little better.  Decided to skip my usual walk - which means only a few kilometers of walking.  To get food and such.



THE FATE OF THE FOOT

One thing I try to do is surround myself with people who are more clever than I.

Not really that difficult.  Sadly.

But, in addition to that, I try to pay attention to stuff they say.

After the CRUNCH in my foot, I followed the advice of my travel mentor and strapped on my trainers (tennis shoes for those stateside) and went to the doctor on the advice of my favorite Dutch girl.

Broken.

Holy fuck, I broke a bone in my foot from just walking around.

Not only am I a fat bastard, I am now a weak boned fat bastard.

That sucks.

In good news, I was able to walk over eight kilometers on a broken foot.  Not advised.

In addition, the doctor said that two or three years ago I'd broken not one but three other bones in my foot.  Which explains the pain I was in then that we thought was from drinking too much and eating too good of food.  I forget what that is called.

Cost for xray and consultation, 400 dirham (40 USD).  The doctor wanted to throw in a cane I didn't like and some pain killing medicine for another 600 dirham.  I refused that.  The doctor then had a rather strongly worded discussion with his receptionist about not revealing the cost to foreigners before the visit.

Which I fucking insist on because otherwise you suddenly get massively over charged.

Too the prescription to a pharmacy near the doctor to find out how much the pain killer medicine would cost - 200 dirham.  Took it to a different pharmacy - 100 dirham.

Why are the pharmacy prices so different?  Who the hell knows.  Probably no protections in place for consumers.

The doctor told me it would be a month or three before it heals.  Glad I don't have to carry my backpack of shit soon.

What the hell.

So I will take it easy for awhile.  Apparently, my body does not favor the walks I was doing to try to stay in some health.  I'm going to take it slow and cautious for awhile and enjoy my week of pain killers.



OLD MAN STORIES

Here's an old military story that I had found out about back in the 80's:

Soldiers are always being sent to find stupid non-existent shit.  One of the many downsides of not having enough people close by to shoot.

One young private was sent off to get two boxes of 'grid squares'.

"Like on a map?"
"Yes."

Rolling his eyes, the young soldier eventually arrived at surprise and chuckling asked the supply officer for two boxes of grid squares.

Thunk, thunk.

The boxes were properly labeled and everything in military fashion.  After gawking at them, the solider opened a box and found little pieces of map.  Each exactly one grid big.

Baffled, he returned them to the NCO that sent him on this task.  He couldn't believe they actually exist.

Without blinking, the NCO glowered at the soldier and said "Now, assemble them."

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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 | Portugal: Faro

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