Twenty-Five Hours In Morocco

The word “tangerine” originated in Tanger, Morocco, where the high-speed ferry that Ethan and I had taken from Spain docked. In port, dark eyed men bumped against us asking, “What do you need?” and “How can I help?” Having been warned that kind offers like these might lead to getting mugged around the corner, we gripped our backpacks tightly and zigzagged through the throng toward the taxi stand.Chefchaouen, a 15th century town on the side of a mountain that is painted various shades of blue, is a two-hour drive from Tanger through hillsides dotted with olive trees and square, squat, dwellings. After an intense negotiation, we got into the back of a yellow, 1980s era diesel Mercedes driven by Hamid, who looked a little like an Arabic Tony Soprano. Our hard fought good deal may have not really been that good, as Hamid’s taxi never made it over 50 miles per hour. Whenever he could, he shifted into neutral to coast, which filled the interior of the car with exhaust but saved some precious, expensive fuel.

Hamid’s cell phone rang halfway through the drive. There was a torrent of loud Arabic and then he said, “Amigo!” and handed the phone to Ethan. Uh-oh, I thought, the beginning…Read more…