|Wake up early cause the bus picks us up at 7:15 for the long trip that will take us to another continent accross the Strait of Gibraltar. The bus is on time and we are now cris crossing the town picking up the pair here and there that will form our group of 13, all adorned with little green stickers, that will all for different reasons make the trek. The wind is in from Africa last night I couldn't sleep.....
We cross in the fog and haze. Out of the murk passes huge tankers and schools of small porpoise. We watch them from the line where the plain clothes police officer reviews everyones papers for entering the world of spies etc. They let us in anyway and soon we are on the bus with our english speaking tour guide giving us the history and backround of this city. Through the harbor and up into the different sections that represent the different countries that occupied this city after the war. Through the American and British sections that are more open neighborhoods into the hills that now have the Palaces of the local Prince and Royality from Saudi Arabia.
We reach the place that I have waited for... the camel ride in Africa. Our tour bus empties before the big bus and I ask the tour operator for the best one. I mount and ride off into the blazing heat of the desert sun....well I sit on this beast while the guide says lean back and all can do is laugh as this it rocks me skyward. He leads me in a small circle and says lean back and my desert ride in Africa has come to am end and I did not even need to use my weapon. Next is Sheri's turn and I think my ride is 5 seconds longer.
We go for a ocean view then ride into town for the tour of the casbah.
The line 'come to the casbah with me' is the extent of my knowledge so it is all new. I first learn that a casbah is an enclosed city or fort. People today choose to live in this very tightly packed neighborhood for the lifestyle. Rich, poor, young, old live close for the tradition and community it builds. We walk in line through these streets and she says if an english come in they will all know why very soon. We know this to be true as every salesman and boy provided with a chance to buy everything.
It goes... see the shirt. No thanks... Know how much 15 euros... ... ..my friend for you 10 euros... it is nice.. touch it it will fit you only 8 yes 8 euros. Replace shirt with gum, drums, fez, shoes... I can not help smile so they think I am breaking down. I offer 2 and I get a pat on the back and he mumbles a blessing to me then departs. Where else can you get this interplay it is so predictable it makes me smile still. The closest we have is car dealers but they don't make me smile.
We wind through the alley ways watching taylors hand sew robes as their silk thread is strung allong the way. We pass a fruit stand and I ask the assit tour guy for help in getting an orange. He asks and then a verbal battle as it is not going well. My guy gets the orange and says that they did not want euros and were giving him a bad time. We stop at a very small square where there is still a public water flow for drinking but even though all have water some people still come for social tradition. In the same square is the communal baker zhere you would bring your bread to cook. Almost like magic the baker climbs the stairs with small circular hearty loves of warm bread. Sure I will always by food and for .50 euros.