This might post…I am in tangier morocco relying on the kindness of strangers. I’m at the train station with a stranger named Fouad who seems to be helping me because he was the only person around who spoke French and mine was too bad for him to send me off alone.
Last night I slept on a ferry from Barcelona, after a last lovely day touring the small streets of the old city, marveling at the streets lined with everyone’s laundry strung from balconies, children free and playing in every square. I bought euro clippers after killing my u.s. ones, so the hair is fresh.
Last night was dreamy, sharing histories and health tips with my moroccan cabin mates, one older and one younger and both with lots of advice for me, in a mash-up of French, Arabic, Spanish and English.
I got to see Gibraltar and befriend a bunch of kids who made eyes at me whenever I walked around the ferry.
I thought I might cry when I saw Africa for the first time, but instead I started grinning and haven’t really stopped.
Got interrupted earlier by the train departure and now I am delirious, but overjoyed.
That may have been the best train ride of my life, with four Moroccan men who just adopted me and wouldn’t let me go astray. The first i mentioned earlier, Fouad, was on the ferry with me and somewhat reluctantly started helping me because he spoke the most French and no one spoke English. He became kind of my uncle, ordering me around to the right taxi and train station and transfer.
He befriended three young men, one of whom is studying English, so Fouad made him our translator when I was clearly no compris pas. That young man, Adil, wants to visit Las Vegas. We’re going to Facebook. I didn’t know how to tell him Vegas takes, morocco gives…it didn’t matter at the moment, we were mostly pleased with our attempts to bridge the language barrier. He is 16 and thinks I would really love the Koran because I seemed very nice.
After we transferred, which meant running across train tracks with our luggage in the dark and waiting for a train that no one was sure was coming, Fouad got me a seat in the full and completely dark train. It was next to a very long-limbed man with the most beautiful face ever. He woke up when I sat down and demanded I have a bite of his snack, a muffin, before passing out again. 2am in morocco.
We finally pulled into Fes around 2:30 and my host was waiting on the platform like a British angel with spectacles. He and his French wife are making love upstairs in this gorgeous riad in the Fes medina, with a wedding partying somewhere, while I drink whiskey, eat soup, mourn Whitney and count my blessings.
Tomorrow I will post some pictures of this place, which looks like exactly whàt you think of when you think of morocco – gorgeous tiles, pillows, balconies, doorways, cloths, down narrow ancient alleys.
Right now I am just blown away by how clearly and simply I need other people, which I usually try to deny to myself. And how, by being alone, I am interacting with so many more people than I usually do, in such amazing ways that don’t take energy from me, but seems to feed and sustain me. This may all seem simple but it’s major for me.
After 45 straight hours of travel, it’s time to take a real shower and sleep in a real bed.