The moroccan sub-saharan abduction

Morocco, north Africa. I cannot even describe all the emotions I went through as I was landing for the first time at the African continent. Excitement rushing through my veins without having the minimum idea of how it was gonna be. The first thought I had when I went out the menara airport in Marrakesh was: -where the fuck are the taxis and the buses?-. There was only people picking up other people, no taxi signs, no bus coming soon. Plenty of luck I had when I found two lads that were going to the same hostel I booked, so off we went to the old city center of Marrakesh or Medina. The hostal called “Kif Kif” is located right in the heart of the city. The hostal crew received me with a delicious chi red tea and some biscuits, the place has a lovely and cozy lounge full of cushions, shishas and colours. Just brilliant, I highly recommend it. It was already late in the evening but I took a walk to get familiar with the area; all the locals of the main market were closed, and to be honest at first sight the area looks quite creepy and spooky, with wild cats hunting, but despite the looks, it’s fairly safe to walk anytime and for some reason I thought -I think like this place-.

With Redoian at kif kif.

The mission of day two was to go to the capital city Casablanca, go to the senegalese consulate and get a pre-visa to enter the country. Oh Internet what an epic fail you did this time. According to bloody Wikipedia and other websites, it was possible for Mexicans to process electronically a pre-form, arrive at the airport in Dakar and enter the country. This website was down for several weeks before and according to some Dakar airport information exchange, the instruction was to go to Casablanca to do such “fast and easy” process. Wrong. As I arrived to the consulate, a tall and fancy dressed senegalese guy in charge said to me that the only way to enter was by official confirmation directly from Senegal, and to do so, my passport and other stuff had to be sent to Senegal and I had to wait at least 3 months to maybe obtain an answer. -Do you have your yellow fever vaccine? Did you book your tickets already?- he asked. To what the answer was -yes, I’m flying in 3 days to Dakar-…-well I don’t think you are, I’m sorry, we cannot do anything-. I was a bit sad, yes, a bit pissed, yes, but I didn’t argue or anything, I’m a guy who likes to think that life always gives us signals, that sometimes it’s a “feck yeah go for it!” But sometimes it’s a “nope, sorry mate, knock on the next door!” And that’s exactly what I did. As I was telling my story with a totally rusty French to the taxi driver, he said in French-don’t worry Mexico! Morocco will make you smile- and he drove me around the main avenues of the city before going back to Marrakesh. Fairly cool city I must say. 

Casablanca, the Atlantic and the biggest mosque in Africa

With limited communication with the staff of momondo due to the Xmas break, I did have a tiny panic attack on the train back to Marrakesh, but my head cooled down and the worse that could happen was to book a flight to Spain (since it was cheap) and then find the way back home, but as said, life is wise and I found a 48 hrs flight to Tanzania with two 12 hrs lay overs (including Spain). The momondo team responded effectively to my Mexican S.O.S. call and my trip was on again, with some extra days to enjoy Morocco. Wise indeed. 

I spent the 3rd day wandering around the market, the main square Jemaa el-Fnaa, the mosques, parks and gardens of the city, like the famous Jardin Morelle, which by the way is infested of Mexican vegetation. And of course, discovering the local moroccan cuisine like the tagine, some brouchette and an orgasmical avocado + banana milkshake. I must add that there are zillions of tiny motorcycles used to move around the market and the center. I honestly felt the muppets so close that I thought once or twice my Sir William Wonka was gone for good. All good fortunately. 

Mosque

Snailsss
Jemaa el-Fnaa
Market
Jardin Morelle
Palace side

Tagine

I must add that as I was walking back to the hostel, I was on a big avenue, then thousands of police men blocked the street and were standing as if the president would cross by. Black BMWs and Mercedes-Benz and police cars driving on the street and people gathering on the sides. -what the hell is going on?- I thought. The king of Morocco, smiling and waving to the people as the people clap and smile. No pictures though cuz a police guy looked at me strangely when I wanted to take out my phone, better not to take the risk. 

At the hostal I met very cool people from all over the world that actually advised me a thing or two of how to spend my renaming days in Morocco. 

Romania, Germany, Italy and Australia

An excursion to the Sahara passing through the Atlas mountains and other spots of the desert was facilitated by the hostel and as an Australian lad showed me his photos of the stars while at the desert, I didn’t even hesitate. Three days of adventures through authentic Berber villages, Ait Ben Hadou, Ait Audinar, Tudra Gorges and Merzouga at the Sahara, including exotic mint tea, food, camels and a night at a beduine camp. And off I went, with a big smile and hoping I wouldn’t freeze my ass off at the desert. 

Imagine the Atlas mountains pass as all the curves your intestine has. Now picture a moroccan old guy with a kind of Gandalf the white cloth and a grumpy face driving a 16 people van with the same skills of bloody Fitipaldi. Fun indeed, provided you don’t get sick with such curvy adrenaline. Many houses of the villages in this area are built with a special clay mixture so they have the same colour of the desert, which is kind of red or terracotta. Even the ones made of concrete are painted with the same tone. Kasbahs and ancient villages, traditional turbans and people yelling “yala!” Which means “let’s go”. Even snow at the mountains and then red rocks that eventually turned into sand. Do you reckon desert movies and TV scenes of game of thrones, gladiator or Lawrence of Arabia? All in this area too. Plus, the good company of people in the van coming from Spain, Germany, la France, USA and the always present China. I will let the pictures do the job.

Atlas mountains

Berbere tea
Aladdin’s carpet
Tudra gorges

And then the magical Sahara. I honestly felt as if I just landed in bloody mars. Absolute magic. The colour of the sand, the dusk, the sunrise, the camels, the dunes, the wind, the silence, the fire, eight shooting stars. The bloody stars. Damn, it is the most beautiful sky I’ve ever seen in my entire life. All the constellations, the milky way and even other galaxies were possible to see. In such moment I was laying down at the top of a dune, totally thrilled by the effect of our amazing universe and a “special” beduine cigarette. Revelations and statements start running in my head. -I will bloody finish the aeromechanics master, I will live intensely every moment as if it was the last, I will smile and be kind everyday, I will learn, give and I will not let anyone stop me, woooh shooting star! oh shit that’s a big ass star- are just some of the thoughts wandering in my head and my heart. A moment that will remain forever. Thanks for that life. 

After exhausting 12 hrs way back to Marrakesh, I spent my last day walking around the city, drinking mint tea and enjoying the African sounds the main square offers. Exotic monkeys like Abu, dancing cobras, crazy dancers, spices for cooking, for health, for aphrodisiac purposes, and a trillion items to buy at the market. I must add that oh these bloody Moroccans know how to sell you things… and to bargain…and to take all your money…graciously. But even so, this city and the surroundings became an staggering and highly recommended experience. 

Despite my solitude moment at the desert I will finish this post saying yes, the colours, the sounds, the smells and the food granted an unforgettable amount of emotions. But it is the people of the city who made me actually embrace the identity of Morocco and understand a bit of what it means to be moroccan. I met incredible people in this trip, locals and internationals; and it is the people again the one responsible of me wanting to come back and of taking Morocco in my heart, and as I take off the Menara airport, I say to myself:-until the next time Morocco.

In the mean time…Tanzania, here I come.

Yala!

Traveling around and not knowing other people is not traveling; it’s just moving. 

 

Advertisements

The word birthday is spelled with “J”

Aaaaaah birthdays. The perfect excuse to be obnoxious, arrogant, needy and bitch about everything while pre-drinking Jägermeister and post drinking Glenmorangie, while your close ones have to stand you and smile back. Plus the industrial amount of food taken to your mouth. As said, the perfect excuse only, unfortunately it doesn’t happen like that most of the times. However this time is about sharing with you, my dear lectores, the birthday celebration of a very special person. She is “J”.

Across my life I’ve met plenty of people who say they don’t like to celebrate their birthdays, that it is just like any other common day, that it is a waste of money or time or that during all their birthdays, the conditions were such that bring bad memories. As a matter of fact, also I used to think like any of those ways. I didn’t find much sense to the fact of being brought to planet earth and start the journey of life. Today is totally the opposite side, at least for me. Life is precious, and as such, once a year we have the chance to evaluate everything we’ve done, everything we didn’t, to judge us, to assess us, to celebrate us and grow up, set new goals, new dreams and even to try again, to not let those dreams go away. 

Anyways. Who’s  “J”? Why? She is my ex-significant other, a beautiful northern Mexican girl that despite being in a relationship with me for only 5 months, for some strange, inexplicable and good reason, today, she is one of the very few and unfortunate, able to understand quite a big percentage of my head and my heart. Who the fuck becomes a best friend after breaking up with a person that leaves you thousands of km to pursue his dreams? Who the fuck turns his head and reckons that leaving behind that essence feels like a mistake and also pushes forward to the best friendship path? You could call it a platonic and authentic friendship. Or just pure stupidity; but it’s real, it’s here and I’m glad I have that in my life. 

And today is about letting her know that. As those who know me will understand and for those who don’t know me, will, I’m a guy who finds love emotions quite…overwhelming. My head kind of collapses and reboots trying to understand emotional affection and despite being easy for me to speak my feelings out loud and honest, due to past traumatic experiences, love crashes against a solid wall of fear and I became someone for whom letting people in, is not easy at all. (Working on it I swear)

But back to the emotional story, “J” and I officially met at the window of the apartment I lived in, a couple of years ago. She was the new neighbour, the pretty girl of the the floor upstairs that out of the blue said -hi neighbor!- with a smile, and asked for the phone number of the building janitor. We had a small but efficient talk that resulted into the exchange of phone numbers and days after, a reunion with some friends, good music, solid laughing and smooth dancing moves that would create consequent magical and orgasmical moments of recreation. 

After a couple of months and hanging out basically everyday, my birthday comes to the play and as “Fire” of Jimmy Hendrix was on the speakers and beer was flowing like a sacred stream, she comes to me, with flowers and ask me if I would be her bf. -You are insane, why do you want to do that?- I said. (Not common at all to receive flowers, less common from from a beautiful girl, I was confused as fuck).

As quick background, for good or worse, I’ve experienced long type ocean distance relationships, more than twice. I know the drill; and back then I had in my mind my desires of applying to the program I am now, to go abroad, to explore the world, conquer it and to not let any kind of bound stop me to accomplish that. I know, a selfish and unstoppable prick. Additionally, by then, and before I met her, I had also everything booked and planned to go to the 1st tomorrowland in magical Brazil and let the carioca love embed me. She knew all that. The fuck mate!? And she still dared, -either madly in love or madly stupid, but very dangerous indeed.- I thought. -“J” what will happen when I go, and we start talking in Skype and we’ll miss each other and we’ll realise there’s no way we can meet unless I come or you go across the Atlantic? Why do you want to suffer?- I said. To what she basically said -well why not? I like you, you like me and that is that. If you go and it’s over, it’s over.- I would like to express that I was 100000% sure she had no fucking idea what she was putting herself into. But despite that, I was also sure that she was actually willing to go for it, she’s as straight forward as I am, plus her eyes and ridiculously amazing hair (and boobs) just made me fall for her that night. 

Months passed. Laughs, hugs, orgasms, movies, video games, food, more orgasms, whisky, love. We’ve never fought about anything. Discussions and debates yes, plenty, but no matter how harsh the subject was, always through effective and honest communication. One mistake. Conjured by both of us separately while I was in Brazil. Not as dramatic and painful as hooking up with another person, but close enough to almost throw everything to the void and keep walking with no turning back. And surprisingly it did not happen. Again, call it stupidity, pointlessness and nonsense bullshit. Maybe the fact that we both did it for the “similar” and pendejas reasons, made us realise our love. Maybe the fact that I was under massive pressure and that she stayed there no matter what, granted me another perspective of love. Maybe we wanted to be madly together and realise that in matter of weeks everything would be over and unconsciously seek the easiest exit. Maybe it was indeed love. But we managed to keep going. 

A genius and smart designer, sharp to evaluate life scenarios but not so much for food taste; rebel, crazy, noble, honest and with cool music taste. A crafty artist in charge of designing my next tattoo.  With OCD, willing to talk at 4 am about random shit and animal lover. A very good listener and not scared of speaking her mind out. Witty. Objectively attractive even while using ridiculous shoes and getting distracted every 17 seconds. My partner in crime, my best friend and one of the pillars of my life. 

I honestly never thought this sort of affection existed. Even less that I would have it. But as said, I’m more than grateful with life for having this clumsy and annoying Mexican in my heart. 

The last time we saw each other was at the wedding of my brother, for 3 days, after 8 months of absence. Special, emotional, cool and fun. I have almost no clue when or if we’ll meet again. Not soon for sure. Happiness, love and more happiness is everything I wish to her, in her birthday and everyday. Afraid should be the lad who could hurt her, and not of me, she has a tremendous right jab. I miss her very much and despite we have our differences in life perspectives, I respect and love her for who she is and for what she does. 

Entiendo bien lo complejo que es estar en tus zapatos, sé que sabes lo fácil que es tirar la toalla y sentirse agobiado por todo. Pero eres imparable. Lazy y torpe, pero imparable. Qué tan lejos estás dispuesta a llegar? Que nada te detenga. No tengas miedo. No hay excusas. Pero sin decir “chilo” por fa. 

Thanks for always being there “J”, for taking care of me, for loving me and for always being authentically you. Happy birthday. 

Love ya torps.

The impetuous, unbreakable and stupid fellow.

December. Christmas. What a bloody cool time of the year this is. My favorite part is the food. And also when people magically unite, eat dinner in peace, laugh, share. Unfortunately it is not like this for all the people of the world, joy comes with suffering, sadness, loneliness, it is a matter of equilibrium of the equation. Fucked up I must say, but real. It is also a month where there are a lot of confessions, of opening emotions, of revelations. Which is why I prefer the food.

Last year I was lucky enough to have an amazing trip around United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany. I saw friends from old times, I saw friends from current times, I saw amazing places and landscapes, I lived and rushed through flights, delicious food, white beer, the best whisky of the world, medieval castles and highland cows. The funny and weird part is that I did it alone.

You see, I am indeed a travel addict, a person who wants to conquer the world, a simple man who would love to save the planet through technology and engineering development, and as very close friends described some hours ago, I do know how to treat with people and do whatever it takes to make my friends happy, to make them smile. Having said that, through all my travels (which have been so far to around 15 countries and counting) I have been very lucky to meet nice people, good people; to those who know me, it is not difficult for me to approach a total stranger and ask  how is the day going, what do they do, what is their favorite thing in the world, what do they recommend about the place I am in. As the same friends aforementioned also said, I always love, I always give, I am so brutally honest and authentic that it is not easy to tell if I am indeed fake or not, because people is simply not used to be treated with the truth, to be actually listened to, to be in fact treated as they deserve. This egocentric prick I am sometimes, is actually just a solid effort of being a good man, of being a decent person, of being happy and provide happiness.

But where the fuck am I going with all this rubbish? Well, I was just remembering that after the astounding xmas travel of last year, I felt just miserable as soon as I returned home. Because I was alone. Maybe I’m just being ridiculous and silly and over-thinking this stuff, you might even say “but mate, you can be happy by yourself, when you love yourself, nothing else matters”, to what I would nod and agree. Maybe I’m just another selfish soul that just wants company sometimes because specially traveling by yourself could be a bloody staggering experience provided you know how to deal with entire loneliness. Maybe, just maybe, today is a weird day where I open myself, that I am being 100% emotional and would actually like to experience being at the top of the mountain with someone holding my hand and kissing my ugly face. As a matter of fact, after that travel I said to myself I would not travel alone again because…#samba, to what life responded with a huge “LOL” and made my biggest dream come true.

 

So as xmas approaches again, I will find myself wandering at the Sahara desert and some other remarkable african destinations and I just cannot wait. Happy. In peace. And ironically alone. (Not complaining at all! you’re the best #momondo)

I am a true believer that things always have a reason to be, that life provides and that it is up to us to get perspective and to do stuff. I have learned that there are just no excuses. At. All. (Cheers you Kiwi!) We should not stay behind the line, we should just stand up, take that leap, DO, SPEAK, KISS, DANCE. No excuses. I might be an annoying, too optimistic, absolutely intense and unstable lucky human being that will indeed travel around almost the entire globe trying to transmit my happiness. I might be a too radical individual that thinks we humans can become better if we just would stop finding stupid reasons to not do what we truly feel we need to do. I might think this way because I feel I am unbreakable, invincible. Of course I am not, but I am simply not afraid of trying. I am a stupid and impetuous fellow unafraid to take the fall.

So perhaps today was just one of those days where the year is finishing and the mind just loves to mess around and creates an effect of thinking “what the hell am I doing with my life, where am I going, why not even pigeons love me”. Perhaps one day, I will actually be able to share what I see, what I feel, what I hear and smell and hopefully it will be with a big eyes and cute smile lovely woman. Perhaps not and it will be with a cat. But alone or not, today, I will be delighted if you decide to join me, to smile and infect the world with happiness.

Coffee just kicked in. Are you in?

dance-like-nobody-is-worried-youre-about-to-injure-yourself-T4I.gif