There are donkey carts everwhere, then motorcycles and vans.
My Hotel, before I tell you the next story and you think I am a bum more than a Hobo.
I have conclude, deduced and inferred that the city of Marrakesh is spelled with a C an not an S, they the correct way to spell this for a long as you want, because there really is not way to spell Arabic words into English.
But I have decided.
IF THE MANHOLE LIDS over the sewers in the city are labeled Marrakech, then that is proof positive that the correct way to spell this is with a C, but being that I have some internet pages, or many internet pages it behooves me to spell the word with and S, so the people of the world that have not concluded positive on how to spell the name, will find this page.
This means I walked around in the old part of Marrakech that is inside the fort walls. I am pretty sure that most cities in Morocco have a Medina and most are surrounded by walls. As are most of the house, they are walled in, and very heavy doors, there is almost no way to look inside a home here except to be invited to do so. This normal in the developing countries, as they still have a highly developed skill of robbery and theft, so therefore everything is tightly closed. In the morning before the streets are full of people or on the walk I just took, I seen streets with no people or color and what you have is a walkway will two wall, and very bleak. The people during the day add color.
I was trying to go to Algeria Tunisia etc to Egypt or Israel.
I am now thinking about the above route, but I am here in Marrakech and I am learning nothing about the trip. Normally in a city there will be travelers along the path that you can compare notes with and learn some options. In the worst case you can find a tour operator that will educate you at the cost of listening to their lies, but…
Here in Morocco so far, the average tourist or traveler seems to be on a two-four week vacation trip and not traveling the country and if they are they are probably going to Fes or Fez for a smoke dope trip, or to the desert for a do the desert trip, and see a camel, or to Marrakech because they are too afraid of Tangiers to just cross the border and stay in Tangiers, and Casablanca is too large or the wrong flavor. Whatever the case there are maybe some surfers working their way down to Senegal or something, but nobody is going to Mauritania - Mali, they are all going Mauritania - Senegal and there is normally a reason, not necessary a good reason, but there are paths to follow in a country. Some that are boring and others that are safer, but normally just one traveler or tourist following the one in front of them.
20 PERCENT COMFORT ZONE
I am only at a 20 percent in the comfort zone with the idea of traveling from Morocco to Egypt with the low route below Algeria and not above Algeria, so I am still trying to figure out how to get to 80. I will only be at 100 after I have done the trip and can do it again, but then who like to do that?
1. Go to Casablanca and get my visas.
2. Go to the southern tip or border of Morocco and Mauritania and see what is the scoop and if there are people camped and ready to make the jump outside of Morocco, and if they have any clue.
The problem is I was not planning an Africa Safari, I was just trying to go to Tunisia and transit across Algeria and Libya when I started, and did not believe that there would be zero travelers going on the lower route. I know zero people going this way, and the ones that say they are going this way are only in the Thorntree of the Lonely Planet and this is not always the best blokes to follow down a road, the Lonely Planet Thorntree is full of travel impersonators that do a lot of research, but never leave the computer, they are extremely knowledgeable and hard to distinguish between them and the truth. Plus there are tons of tour operators hanging around trying to steer you into a tour package through a lot of misinformation. I experienced this when I went to Iraq, and almost 90 percent of the information in the Thorntree was either a lie by tour operators or just bad information that was hearsay.
THE SECOND PROBLEM
I do know that if I went to Earls Court Tube stop in London and hung around for a week I could Suss out the best possible paths because there are a lot of them big South Africa guys that look like they lifted too many weights and are steel workers in disguised, but are very knowledgable, so I know I could get some good advice. A construction worker from South Africa (White guys) that is working in London doing construction has a better grip on reality than some surfer that just came from the Atlas Mountain, where they were searching for Kif or Weed or whatever they call the Marijuana in these dope areas. This must be the Rajastan of Morocco.
MY INSTINCTS TELL ME
1. Go south to the border, do a recon information mission like I did in the Philippines.
2. Stop in Casablanca on the way north for a week or more to discover the Visa situation.
3. Get a plane ticket with Easyjet.com from either Faro, Portugal or Malaga, Spain to England. I can also get a plane ticket to Tunisia if the price is cheap enough and I can figure out how to go Tunisia to Egypt.
4. Spend 3 days there sussing out the information.
5. Give the project a break, and fly to either Bangkok, Egypt or India and I can work on my web cam project.
I am missing something about Morocco and it bothers me on a daily basis, I can not understand what is below the surface in this country. Maybe the reason is because of the lack of actually talking or communication with Morocco people or other travelers has made it difficult.
In Essaouira I took a long walk outside the Medina and lived outside the Medina for a day. In Tangiers for a few days I lived outside the Medina so my life was mingling with the normal people. In Essaouira and now in Marrakech I am having trouble separating from what you could call the Tourist provider class of people.
I went off on a tangent as I do normally and go make or collect information on various subject. Here is the tangent or the offshoot of what I have been working on for the last hour, not on the blog, but now I will publish it both in the blog and within my normal page of HoboTraveler.com
Description of People That Live From Tourism
Culture Table of Contents
Or How to avoid Tourist?
RED - COMPLETE TOURISM 0-5 BLOCK RADIUS 90%
of the center of the backpack universe or the center of the two week tourist is completely or 90 percent tourism workers, except for some light office or maybe government offices.
BLUE - FIVE BLOCK LINE 5-10 BLOCK RADIUS 50/50
turism workers or providers
MAROON - 20 BLOCK LINE 10-20 BLOCK RADIUS
10-20 Blocks, mixed and wanna be.
NORMAL - 20 BLOCKS OUT OR MORE
Normal culture more or less, but not totally trued
Too Many Tourist!
I am a traveler and a tourist, in the end unless I stop and live in
a place I am a tourist, that does not normally go on tours.
After traveling a few years I have started to become
very annoyed with the repetitious nature of tourist and travelers as
they move in herds of cows or like lemmings following the one in front
of them to drop into the sea.
See How tourist are like Lemmings?
This is about tourist clusters, and my goal of learning and applying my
knowledge so I do not know, therefore I hopefully will not forget to
leave the social confines of the tourist clusters.
Normally if you walk in a straight line 10 to 20 block from any location
you will walk outside the tourist area. Note, if a person is
recommending a place, 99 percent chance that is a tourist location,
there are two ways to go outside the tourist areas.
To randomly travel 20 block or randomly move. To have a destination in
mind is by mental propensity a desire to go where the others tourist
would go, we naturally and socially want to be with people of similar
backgrounds, or culture therefore the process of leaving the other
tourist is uncomfortable and foreign behavior socially.
Accidents do happen
1. If your friend knows of the place, it is likely you did not go
outside the tourist areas.
2. Asking a taxi driver to take you outside the tourist area is way
outside the mental considerations of a taxi driver, as there goal is to
take you where you want to go, and 99 percent of the time a tourist is
going to a tourist area. If you want to go outside, tell the driver to
go straight and when you feel uncomfortable get out of the taxi.
3. Speaking English or other foreign language is not common outside of
tourist areas, although in University settings and some countries like
the Netherlands you can find that English is common.
There is normally a tourism center in a city where
there are clusters of Hotels and Restaurants in close proximity. The
can be two or three of these clusters.
1. Old city group
2. New city group
3. Specialty tourism centered around a specific
attraction or area.
4. The whole city may be dependent upon tourism.
Baggage transportation people - They carry in small carts your bags when you walk within a city.
Storage or locker
SHIPPING AND CARGO
TOURIST ATTRACTION - This is the worker that is working
for the reason that people came to visit the city.
The link or address of this interactive page is:
I will add to the actual page, but will not add to the blog on this subject.
I am now in Marrakech, and the sun is shining.
My room is clean, one half the size, double the cost, twice as clean and half as secure as my room in Essaouira, so normal.
The electricity in Morocco is challenging the world for being the least modern, I still only have one light bulb hanging from the middle of the ceiling and no plug, I need to use my plug adapter again.
Marrakech so far appears to be like a cheap version of France, sidewalk cafe andpeople looking at each other walk by...
Reminds me of Hoh Chi Minh City Vietnam
Phon Pehn, Cambodia
Lot of donkeys here in the middle of the city.
This is sent late...
6:33 AM Saturday, November 27, 2004
I am packing up and getting ready to leave, I am waiting for the sun to rise so I can unhook my convoluted system of having electricity in this room. My room and the hallway outside my room are dark as a cave, so I cannot move without light, and I need to climb on the table to undo the electrical bulb plug system I have hooked up, and I need just a little light.
Essaouira has been good, the Fortress city I have been living is good, the people are ok, the beach is ok, it needs to be summer for this beach to be good, the cost of the hotel is good, but the food and staples cost is way to high. I hope the cost of Restaurants and such here are abnormal because if the normal person has to pay this much for food in the restaurant or market then this country is in poverty, because they surely cannot sell enough of the trinket here to make enough money.
The cost of shoes, shirts, and trinket is about the same prices as the USA if you wanted to buy a not needed T-shirt of shoes, but is half the price of Europe, so I am sure they feel they are in bargain city department store. The price of bread is cheap, but any type of fancy bread or rolls cost the same as the USA. Not the big city prices, but what the normal Wal-Mart prices would be, New York is never normal for the USA in my mind.
I have been staying the Hotel Central in the middle of the Medina or as it says Central. Prices is 40 Dirham if you do not shower, and 5 more to shower, first country in my life where I had to pay for the shower. Bolivia has some places where you have to pay after 4000 Meters, but not the whole country. I think they must stink, there is not enough Hammans or bath houses, and the Dutch boys said they paid 60 Dirhams to go to the bath house, but they got a rub down or scrubbed by person working in the place, I guess I need to go in an explore. I am not big on public cleaning houses, especially when there are bunches of men that want to rub me down and clean me, this to me is strange. Call me Homophobic or whatever you want, but I do not let the boys in these treat-the-women-bad countries to touch me a lot, they are not getting enough hugs in life and often get grabby. In India, it is so bad you have to keep your window closed or the men come and look inside.
Essaouira is definitely worth the time to visit because of the cannons and the Fort on the water edge, not for the beach.
I rented the room here in the Hotel Central for two reasons.
1. It was the only place when I walked in that had some backpackers, I was hoping I would have some people to talk with. I have found that nobody stays in Essaouira more than two days, so it strictly a tourist city and nobody hangs around, not a good ex-pat hangout.
The room I rented had this big hasp or door bar that I can use to lock my room. I use my own lock and nobody can enter. I do not have a window, but some room here have window and they do not lock, this is not good. It also has an upper deck for me to wash clothes and dry, as the clothe washing facilities in Morocco must be wear them till you stink system, because I am now looking for wash my clothes myself places to live.
They thought I was strange when I asked how to get my clothes cleaned at the reception here. I finally did pay the woman 20 Dirham to wash the clothes, and had to pay and extra three for the soap. They then went to buy soap. I was asking myself,
“How do they wash the sheets? Or is this like India where they don’t until they have too?”
I was happy to see a few day later sheets hanging up to dry. I am still watching these Moroccans though; they are not on the clean side of the hill of life. Iraq was so clean in comparison to this, and much more modern than here. It is the only Islamic country I have visited really, although Turkey is half-and-half, but not totally Islamic, more of when it is convenient to be, and not full on.
I am going to leave, one way or another. It is 7:04 AM, and time to get this world of Morocco moving. I like to arrive early in cities and get a jump on the drunks, druggies, and late hippies, so I can get a good room.
WRONG DAY OF WEEK
I found out I was a day behind yesterday, it is strange how I can lose track of the day or the date, and not even care. People help remind me of the day of the week or sometimes store being closed, there is usually something about some days where it blare at you that this is this day. Sunday in Europe it is obvious because everything seems to close in many of the countries, while in the USA there are still enough stores open that you could mistake it for Saturday, but in Europe necessity type places like Pharmacies, Restaurants, Groceries stores will be closed, even the Gas or Petrol Stations will close. Hard to imagine for me the gas stations closing, but in some places they do, money is a big priority, it is not less of a priority, but there are laws on the books that do not permit the business to be open often, and what this does is allows all of the businesses to close together and nobody loses money. I think sometimes there is more collusion on this type of thing, and the free enterprise system is amok. For sure the cost of Europe is double that of USA on normal staples, like toilet paper, bread, milk, and shampoo, and of course gas. The USA has more competition and keeps the price down; I think the solution is the European Union will get rid of the mom and pop mentality and help the normal poor person to live.
So I learned that I was on the wrong day, ones in Mexico, I asked what month it was? I was lost.
I thought this place was very good, and I saw a small UNESCO logo on that placque describing the city, so I came to the World Heritage List to check.
Link to Essaouira Medina
Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador)
Essaouira is an exceptional example of a late-18th-century fortified town, built according to the principles of contemporary European military architecture in a North African context. Since its foundation, it has been a major international trading seaport, linking Morocco and its Saharan hinterland with Europe and the rest of the world.
Justification for Inscription
Criterion ii Essaouira is an outstanding and well preserved example of a late 18th century European fortified seaport town translated to a North African context. Criterion iv With the opening up of Morocco to the rest of the world in the later 17th century Essaouira was laid out by a French architect who had been profoundly influenced by the work of Vauban at Saint-Malo. It has retained its European appearance to a substantial extent.
WHAT IS A MEDINA?
Arabic for town or city; used in North Africa to refer to the old center part of a city. http://www.1uptravel.com/country-guide-study/libya/libya163.html
the ancient quarter of many cities in northern Africa
Isa gave me the heads up on Vauban at Saint-Malo a couple of day ago...
Maybe this link
Today is newsletter day in Morocco, this means this is the day I finished it, there is no correlation between me working on my newsletter and the day of the week other than I feel guilty for some Protestant work ethic reason. I am try to get over this, but like a Leopard try to lose their spots.
Hey, that reminds me I saw a Leopard skin design for a mask that covered one of them Islamic women here, too funny, but stylish. Under the long covers of clothe these women can be completely deck out in fashion. Still trying to figure out how to look better, my Superman shirt just does not work.
I am in the process of sending my newsletter, it has some photos of Amsterdam so some good window shopping photos for you people that like to be see photos of funky girls and such.
Subscribe to newsletter here and you can be lazy and read in your email box, there is an RSS feed and you can do what you do with them, not that I know, but there is a link up top of this page.