I am now writing from the very place that I began the Moroccan portion of my journey almost exactly four months ago: the Foucauld Hotel in Casablanca. Four months of traveling, four countries. I sit here thinking about these travels, and my life up to here. What have I done? What am I doing?
Morocco, touts, website building, writing, Portugal, Mira, bicycles, searching for internet connections, Vila Nova de Milfontes, SEO books, emails to Andy, phone calls to Erik the Pilot, Spain, Gibraltar, the south of France, friends from Chile. Me.
Back in Casablanca. I found a path through the forest these past four months . . . and a big machete. I feel as if I am cutting my own trail now. I am piecing together a living through writing and traveling. Sold three articles, $25 here, $50 there, another $25, I just heard that a $400 check rolled in, a Paypal payment of $5.75, Andy gave me a project, things are going well. I am not quite making enough money off of this website/ travel blog/ magazine endeavor to completely travel on, but I am getting a little bean money from it. Small steps. I am still new at this game, and know that there is a lot that I need to learn. I hope, I really hope, that when the money that I made last summer runs out I will be bringing in the $15-$20 a day from the sites and other projects that I need to keep traveling on. I enjoy what I am doing. I probably put way more time into writing articles, travelogue posts, and publishing webpages than I ever did while working archaeology jobs, but I like these little projects way more. I am living on my own terms- or, at least, I am trying to.
I have come to terms with Morocco. There were many things that I really did not like about the country the first time that I was here two months ago. Now, these things do not really bother me too much anymore, I think that have accepted them.
I have accepted the fact that sometimes someone will follow me down the street, chattering and trying to fool me into coming with them to a “shop” or to go on a ‘tour.” Better yet, I have figured out ways to keep these people away from me. They do not bother me anymore. I have learned their lies, tactics, and psychological games, and I now know that they will get nothing other than a hearty laugh out of me. . . or the shear glare of ambivalence. It was a fun to learn that I can really trust nobody here, while at the same time not judge the country with scorn. I leaned how to be cautious, while not being offensive or miserable. I learned ways to avoid conflict and how to stand my ground when conflict does arise.
I have accepted the fact that taxi drivers may try to charge me more money than the price agreed upon or what is on the meter. I no longer get angry about this; rather, I pay the proper price, refuse to pay more, laugh, and get out abruptly and walk away. I had a bad ride with a taxi driver today, and it did not upset my mood- nor infringe upon my pocketbook. I am learning how to deal with annoyances. It is interesting to watch yourself come to terms with your surroundings.
The last time that I was in Morocco, I thought that I did not this country or the people that I met here. But really, I did not like the way that I interacted with the people here, as I did not know how to behave. The Moroccans are Moroccans and have forever been Moroccans. I cannot expect them to treat me any differently than they do. I have accepted this, and now I can walk down these streets with a smile on my face. This country is alright. I do not really want to leave.
But tomorrow I will probably wake up early to get on a train to the airport and leave this country behind. I have learned a lot here.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
January 7, 2008