Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wow. So about eight months aqgo I wrote two consecutive posts of a three post series (don't bother to look for the third installment, it was never written) about my summer adventure. I spent plenty of time travelling last summer and found myself crossing the staight of Gibraltar into Morocco and ending up for a brief flash in the the town of Assilah with a man named Charif who knew enough english to get into my wallet. Now I don't know how common it is to find Moroccan men named Charif but I do know Assilah is a small town. So when I got this e-mail today, all I could do was smile and assume it must be the same guy:

Hi Tayden,

I was really happy to read your story about Mr. Charif. My worst travelling experience is just some days behind and I would like to know that are you thinking!

My Mr. Chrif story:
I started my trip some days ago on Friday, actually I planed to go alone to Tetouan. But then I met Narcel a nephew of Mr. Charif and he convinced me to go with him to Assilah, a nicer place where his family has a small house.
So in the first night we smoked & drinked a lot with Narcel, Mr. Charif and a friend of him. It was really fantastic to feel so well integrated.

But the next day after Mr. Charif came back from buying food, he wanted to have money from me, because police became suspected of us. I guess he made a drug deal with his nephew and because of me the tourist guy, the police became alert. All in all he made me really get scared of jail and I gave him some money. With this we both went to a weird bar, where the police officer, the "Big Boss", was sitting and we drank some beer with him and some other "Big Men" of Asilah. And you know what, Mr. Charif becomes really incalculable when he's drunk! Back at his place he was shouting and argueing with his nephew the whole night, although I and later his nephew were sleeping. A lot of stress this day.

The next day we left to the country side a little marvellous village, where he's the boss. Leaving the stress and the bad experience of the day before behind us. The nephew and me, where going to a nice place smoking some shit and relaxing, we talked a lot and he assured me that his uncle is a really big man, in Assilah and even more in his village. After some hours we went back, ate diner and watched TV. Narcel wanted to go to the local shop, buying some stuff, Charif and me left at his place. One hour passed by, he was still not back and Charif went out looking for him. After some minutes he came back, telling something shocking:

Maybe someone saw us smoking that afternoon and even more worse: Narcel took his bagpack, with his so called stuff. => 5 years jail!
He called some friends with my mobile and advised me for leaving this place as early as possible, so that I would be safe and he asked me also for some extra money to bribe the police for getting Narcel out.
...and so we did the next day.

Mr. Charife promised me to give me the money back, but I don't know if I can trust him? Maybe they were some great actors to cheat on tourist?
At least they could speak in arabic, which I don't know.

What do you think about all?

Thanks a lot for reading, I hope you can give me some help or advises, what ever.

Best regards

Well Marcel,

First you gotta tell me if this picture I posted is the same guy, because if it is than this world is so small it makes me want to smile and cry all at the same time. Then I gotta tell you that I doubt you'll see your money again. I can tell you two things: Charif is no big man in town, and I promise the police already know exactly what goes on in that tiny town. I can't wait to hear from you again and find out what became of the rest of your time in Assilah.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Do you think this is all of it?" she asked, but my mind was too caught up in an old answer to put together an answer that might stop her. All I could think about was how words would bend far more willingly to me back then. Not that this one understood. Or even if she could, it wouldn't have stopped her voice from continuing.

"We've lived pretty exciting lives up to this point." I stared at the line in her chin trying to bring myself back. "Maybe now we just have to accept this. Like," (and I cringe every time she uses the L word), "like nothing seems exciting but maybe that's O.K. Work is work and we do it to get by."

It was exactly at this point I thought about you and this place. Yes you, reading right now. Not because I've felt bad about not being here. It was because in a flash of a moment I almost gave in and agreed. But if I had been here you would have told me to keep fighting.

Right now there's no fancy magazines or newspapers or sports training to wake up for. Instead it's the bare white wall of my old room. Even the posters and collages that used to coax me up are gone. Every morning all I think about is how unrelentingly fast this real life moves.

There's five tables in a restaurant where soon people will sit, waiting for me to wait for them. It's a place full of new friends who ask me questions about my past, to which I comfortably lie, telling myself that they wouldn't believe the truth anyways.

But you know. You know where I've been, whether I have what it takes, what words will be necessary to get me started and the attention span to see me at least halfway there.

I didn't tell her this time. Not because I didn't know, but because I could think of little worse than becoming my very own cliche. This isn't all of it. Really I think this is just the beginning. It's not a question.

After all, if a waiter can have the best written blog on the web than there's still plenty of places to go. Just gotta pick one.