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Morocco, 1994

I don't remember exactly the circumstances, but Luis invited me to accompany a group of American students he was chaperoning on a trip to Morocco. Yeah, I'm in. At the time I was a Fulbright scholar living in Granada (Can you believe that?).

So, to the best of my memory, we had visited Fez and some other places and were heading south to Marakesh. We stopped at an open air market just for curiosity's sake.

Now, for some reason, Moroccans don't like getting their picture taken. It could be that they consider the picture making a robbing of their soul; or maybe they merely figure that if the Europeans, slumming in their North African nation, are snapping pictures of them they should be remunerated accordingly.

So after visiting the market, I got back into the van, and decided to take a picture of some boys as we were pulling away. As I was doing so, one of the boys pulled out a knife and waved it at me in a menacing yet playful way. Of course, being in the van I was in no danger, but it is strange that the picture that I took at that moment never came out. Or maybe I never took a picture.

My roommate during the trip was this young fool by the name of Montoya. He would keep his passport under his pillow as he slept at night. One day he packed up and left, forgetting his passport under his pillow. One of Luis's Moroccan friends was kind enough to retrieve the passport, ride in a train all the way to Rabat or Casablanca, or wherever we were at the time, just in time to deliver the passport to Montoya.

Certainly Luis made sure that Montoya compensated him for his trouble.



January 2019



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