"the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page" - st. Augustine
This past week I rode the train for 28 hours. I hung out in Qenitra and Rabat on the way to Marrakesh. The train can be traumatizing for several reasons. Firstly, it is horrendously boring. I will never understand how old people can stare into space for 10 hours at a time. Secondly, it's about 110 degrees in the summer, so it stinks like hell. I pass 5 hours of desert before hitting Fes. Lastly, it feels as though you've stepped into a painfully slow time portal. Qenitra, Rabat, and Marrakesh are all about 50 years ahead of my town, 100 years ahead of the neighborhoods on the edge of my town, and 200-500 years ahead of the tiny villages in Morocco. It's mind blowing.
All these hours give me a lot of time to read. This trip I covered The Unwinding, a new book about how the social structures, which enabled the middle class in America to exist, have disintegrated over the last 40 years. I also read Colorblind, a book by my friend. The book is, at least in part, about elitism, apathy, and the ivy league-finance funnel. Then I made it through half of Franzen's Freedom. I really need an ipod.
On the way back, I watched the police beat up some smelly dudes near Rabat who didn't pay for tickets (I'd like to note here that they were smelly because they were wearing fancy sweaters and leather jackets in the hot, packed-solid train, not smelly because they live on the street). Why do people make such sacrifices in the name of fashion?
I'd almost made it back home- for the final hour I take a 'grand taxi' over the mountains. As per usual, the driver was blasting Koranic readings the entire time. Then we passed a car that had crashed into a tree. The others in the cab argued for a bit but eventually agreed that the person must have died. Then our 'chauffeur' started driving like a maniac. Passing huge trucks on total blind mountain turns and going absurd speeds up and down the crappy roads. I guess he was in a hurry to get into Heaven. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Anyway, why the hell did I go all the way to Marrakesh? I went to recruit some people from the newest group of volunteers to help out with a group that will focus on how to better integrate youth with special needs into our work in youth centers. The group will also do work in community health. Found some great people, so I think it was worth it.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, nor any other governmental or non-governmental organization.
Nor is anything written here necessarily drawn from my own views, opinions, and observations. Please consider all postings and pictures complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality. For legal purposes, please additionally regard the author as utterly imaginary.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, governmental or non-governmental organizations.
Nor is anything written here necessarily my own views, opinions, or observations. Please consider all pictures and texts here to be complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality, this one or any other. For legal purposes, please additionally consider the author to be utterly imaginary.