Nov 16, 2005

Garys bad day at Volubilis

At 5:30 a.m. we get up and run down to Meknes. Every bad driver is in Meknes today. It's faith based driving at its worst. The Australians are riled. "What the fuck is this?" they want to know.

"Hey, Neville," M. shouts out the window at some hapless fellow in the next car, "stop steering with your dick. Dickhead."

Most conversations with the outside world start with Nevile, Gary or Kevin and end with dickhead. "Gary, get me 'nother Heiniken," they'll say to the hotel waitor, waving empty bottles. "And try to bring it before midnight. Dickhead."

"Hey Kevin, what's your problem?" one of them says to the police officer who stops us at a roadblock. "What's up? Tell 'im we've kissed the king's royal ass and let us outta here. Dickhead."

And then always the side dialogue.

"But you didn't just kiss it."

"Don't tell 'im that. He might get excited."

"Like you were with me last night."

"Hey topper, I 'ouldn't tell whether that was a pimple or your dick? ... Dickhead."

On and on.

Of all the things they hate in Morocco the three Aussieketeers hate how slow T. drives. T. is 23. He the sweetest, nicest kid you ever saw and if he knew what these people were saying, in general and about him in particular, he would just smile and he would have no response. And of course there is no response. No non aussie has a response.

Part of the reason T. drives slowly is because this is his father's truck. It's an old white Mercedes with a roof rack and blue curtains on all the windows. It's used primarily for transporting vegetables from the small farms around Ifrane to the marche.

T drives also slowly because the tires are as bald as frog heads. In fact, one exploded the other day. Also, the van speed limit is lower than for cars, particularly in city limits. And, of course, the cops are everywhere.

But slow anything drives the As nuts, especially when we get on the new autoroute that runs between Casa and Fez.

"Hey, we just passed a dead person."

"How'd you know that Gary?"

"Sure looked dead. No head right? That usually means dead."

"There was a head."

"I didn't see it."

"It didn't see you either."

"Well, that's because you're a dickhead."

"I don't care, that makes two things we've passed in the last 2 hours."

"Tell Neville to try second gear."

"Hey look, aren't those ducks? Look over there."

"Hey, mate, tell 'im to get in the jet stream of that duck."

Most nights T. sleeps in the truck, because he'd rather have the room money than the hotel room. But sometimes I. makes him sleep in a real room anyway.

Then last night they got caught filming kids in a bad part of town. Kids were sniffing glue and started climbing all over the truck. T. panicked and it was all they could do to get him in the van, start it up, and get out there.

By the way all the kids sniff glue here. All ages. They run around holding it to their noses. It's good actually, someone explained to us. They forget everything, hunger, cold, the facts of life, no home, no families, let them feel free. There are 15,000 homeless kids in Casa. About 10,000 actually have homes and families. The other 5,000 have nothing. Many live in the port, in old containers. And everyone of them has the glue to his face.