The End of Ramadan
October 13, 2007
The winding alleys of Sale.
The streets are full of people and the people are full of food; for it is the end of Ramadan, and Rabat is full of festivity. Every corridor and ally of the city is crammed with food carts, ice creameries, and orange juice shops on wheels. Smiles adorn the faces of every little child and grizzled old man. Another Ramadan is has passed and a new dawn rises on the Muslim world.
Now that all sins are purged, another long year of sin making can commence. The children seem to have engaged upon this venture with added vigilance. Huge packs of little boys were running wild all over the city, throwing stones, climbing up walls, and bothering the tourist. One particularly aggressive gang of ten year olds were throwing their stones a little too close for Mira’s comfort.
“Can I spit on them?” she asked.
“Yeah, go for it,” I replied, as I did not have a better idea.
“Thawak ” Mira hacked at one of them.
They all looked confused and retreated. It worked. The score: Us- 1, Little boys of Morocco- 0.
Many more people seemed to also be celebrating the resurgence of their pre-Ramadan vices. Mira and I went for a walk along the beach and clamored up some jagged coastline rocks that stretched out around the base of the lighthouse. Once on the sea side of the lighthouse and out of view of the main road and most of the beach goers, we found multiple groups of teenage boys enthusiastically smoking hashish. As we walked by they all looked upon us with friendly facial expressions and one group, who were sitting on the edge of a great cliff, called out to us with an offer of join them for a smoke in their circle. They were smoking hash out of a big old hookah and seemed to be a real friendly bunch of kids, but hash is often times not to my liking and Mira outrightly despises it, so I regretfully turned down their offer. If it were a big bottle of whisky that was being passing around then I would have joined right in and had a jolly good time of getting drunk with a group of mad Moroccan youths while looking out to sea.
It is of interest to me how the various regions of the world seem to have their choice forms of intoxication. In Europe, North America, and East Asia it is Alcohol, in Southeast Asia it is opiates, South America cocaine and alcohol, and in North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia the drug of choice is Hashish. I believe Burroughs wrote something about this.
When I think about it, I find that I most enjoy the alcohol countries: China, Mongolia, Japan, Chile, Argentina, Spain.
I ate a full three meals today for the first time in over a month. I must say that I am pleased to retire my Ramadan fare of sardines and crackers. I profess with assurance that a sardine diet is perhaps the best way to assuage the hunger urge. It is amazing how little food one will eat when their only option is a can of sardines and grotty crackers.
Bring on the culinary delights of Morocco, Ramadan est finite
Now, with a full belly for the first time in a month, I begin looking for a plan to guide my wanderings throughout this country.