Thursday, 21 April 2011

sa ha ( enjoy)

        I had no idea what to expect next, witnessing demonstrations in the Capital of Rabat.  I saw several thousand people marching the streets. Stopping traffic as they protested higher food prices and massive unemployment, many young, mostly under 25 and smartly dressed, carried banners, and loudspeakers. They were generally peaceful demonstrations.

       But this day's crowd was different. They gathered to see what was happening, like they had witnessed the event before. Shoppers with their groceries, onlookers from the coffee shops, and street vendors stood watching. Reminding me of the many Thanksgiving Black Friday shoppers that are injured as they wait for the doors to open for the big sales, city buses went by with so many people inside them pressing against the windows, that common sense told the onlookers that something more was going to happen.
       A bus stopped for traffic as students grabbed onto anything they could to catch a ride before the bus took off again. The next bus came by, slowing for the traffic light when its windows, still in their large frames, popped from the bus, shattering glass in the streets, no longer able to stand the pressure of so many people inside pressed against them.
      Another bus stopped for a red light and was weighed down by so many students jumping onto it, that the driver put the bus in park, got out and ran to the back to deal with the illegal boarding of his bus. He was surrounded and outnumbered, alone.

      I've read about police in the US using tazor guns on children as young as six years old. (Is pepper spray next?) But this is Africa and anything is possible. The driver grabbed a boy about 15 years old by his shirt, lifting him up high off the ground. His shirt was tight around his neck. The boy struggled to get away. His baggy pants were hanging down when the driver leaned him over and gave him an old-fashioned spanking in front of the few hundred onlookers.
     The traffic light could have been green forever, but we were all stopped, laughing and applauding. Some even cheered the driver on. The other boys, not wanting to be part of this humiliation, surely would rather have been tazored and quickly run off than try hitching a free ride home from the football game.

  • The center of Casablanca is Mohammad V stadium. It has held over 120,000 for a concert.
  • Apparently my new hobby is visiting embassies.
  • I now have a Moroccan cell phone number, and expect phone books will start showing up beside my motorcycle. (while I am inside the embassies of course)
  • Still no visa: so a movie, cigar, and beers at "Rick's Cafe."
  • Who can guess the name of the movie, cigar, and beers enjoyed?


  1. Casablanca, cubans, and corona?

  2. viva la revolucion!

    looks good man!

  3. Good job Lane ! Here's looking at you kid. The movie Casablanca / 1942, and still a hollywood all time best of list. To this day expect it to be showing at american universities during final exam week. a ongoing tradition started at Havard. Cigar was cuban, but the beer was casablanca.
    Paul. ahh, well movie man, when I cross the next border I will film the revolucion and send you pictures !

  4. Wow, is that your bike .... are you sure you want to spend money shipping it? LOL Sounds like you are having the time of your life. Enjoy, be safe and Happy Easter.


  5. Great to read about your adventure, so far! Elliott just gave me the address to your site. Can't wait to read more! Travel safe.