the inchoate itinerary

June 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

If it wasn’t the endless charter buses that threatened to break our travel spirit than it could have been the well-versed street guides assessing the likelihood of our lucrativeness like a stockbroker analyzing risks. Sometimes they took us for a pair of misers, and relentlessly encouraged a change of heart. And their offers were tempting- when converted, some prices resembled RBIs more than dollars. This was a different form of hassling than my usual gender-triggered remarks, and (for the most part) guiltlessly easy to ignore. I would posit that apart from sales ploys and patience-testing modes of transportation, our 3-week excursion went well. We unscrambled a puzzle of this diverse country as we crossed terrains and now even the not-so-fun pieces seem fitting. The secret to our success: forgoing quixotic planning for caprice, and leaving room to be swayed towards alternative destinations.  Relationships with cities are no different than those with people: there is always a little give and a little take. At times we indulged on hotel rooms, other times our stomachs said “are you kidding me?” as we dined on yet another cheese sandwich. A series of photos and recaps, top-ranked and bottom-ranked moments, guest entry, and more to come if I can ever stand to stay still again.

It is worth mentioning some interesting developments floating in the politically charged air. For now I’ll introduce the matters rather keyword manner. A march under the guise of a picnic to protest what’s known as the country’s Guantanamo was violently broken up while on route to their destination. Inmates in a marginalized prison demanded semi-decent conditions and ended up with a few days of tear gassing, beatings, and other (literally) unmentionables. An unemployed union protest on a Friday was charged on by police, batons wagging. The nation-wide protest the following Sunday saw similar dispersion tactics.

Corrections to the previous post: I’m not sure how this happened, but I forgot to include Chefchaouen on the list. Also, the conference was not downright cancelled, but it was postponed until November. Same net effect though.

Of all the disorienting scenarios to return from a vacation to, a open schedule is strangely shunned. My lack of structure haunts me, especially with the news about my postponed conference. One palpable date in mid-July anchors me to an eventual Euro-tour starting the first of that month, but precisely when I will leave Morocco for roaming lands north of the Mediterranean is breezing through untied sails. Perhaps I will leave in a few weeks time to immerse myself in French on a farm south of Toulouse and from their start the rest of the tour.  This would lower my living expenses because the farm would house and feed me for the duration. Or, I stay here for the time planned, and leave at the end of the month. Either way, for the next few weeks here, I will be struggling to finish up my research project and report (I say struggle only because the disappearance of a due date).  My solicitations for one-on-one tutoring in English have taken a different direction as well. I have a chance to volunteer as an English instructor at a fabulous nonprofit, an opportunity I do wish to pursue. However, finding some paid gigs as well would be nice. Maybe the street guides were right, maybe I am a miser in the making.

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