The Weekend Part III: I’ve Actually Never Been To Millitant Training Camp, Actually.

So, where were we? Ah yes, you were at home in a nice warm room, and I was eating pringles looking out over the meditteranean ocean. I had a bottle of orange juice, but it was a “sports bottle” which meant I had to hold it 6 inches from my face and crush it in my fist to get anything out. Just like on the commercials.

So I decided to blow that swarthy popsicle stand and re-enter Morocco. At the border, there are bums that earn a living by filling out your entry questionnaire for you. I got pestered beyond all belief, and the bum eventually took my passport and gave it to the guard for me. He said something in Arabic and promised me “speedy expedited service.”

The guard looked at my papers and asked if I was a Muslim. Trying to be friendly, I said “Not yet, but in the future, no man can know.” Then he asked if I was married. I considered telling him I don’t have a girlfriend, I just know a girl that would get angry if she heard me say that, but I settled for saying “no.” At this point, I wasn’t surprised. I thought he was trying to figure out if I was a missionary. It seems to me that some moroccans can’t understand why an American would come to their country, and therefore we must be here after their only thing of value: Islam. What happened next, though, took me by surprise.

“Pakistan?” He asked. “How long were you in Pakistan?”

I kept smiling and said I’d never been to pakistan, but he didn’t buy it. He told me if I was just there to study or visit family it was all right; I could tell him. What did I study in Pakistan? Where did I stay? Did I have family there? How about Pakistani friends?

The only thing that I can imagine is that he saw “Indiana” listed as my birthplace and assumed that I was born in “India.” I had the same problem when I tried to get the passport in the first place. Anyway, after assuring him that I was not a Pakistani, that I had never attended any sort of “school” overseas, and that I had no Pakistani friends, he said “I will give you an entry stamp for 7 days. If you are here longer than that, you must go to the police and register yourself.”

At this point, I hadn’t eaten in 2 days. I had been soaked and walked something like a dozen kilometers. I’d spent most of my weekend worrying first about how to pay for a hotel room, then about whether the black marketeer was going to dump my carcass in the ocean after robbing me. The guard could have said “I will give you a 3 hour entry visa” and I would have gladly accepted.

Anyway, my original entry stamp would have expired. This new one would have expired monday. So I would have gained a grand total of zero. But I had a suspicion: what in the hell is a 7 day entry stamp? I think that he was expecting me to say “no, I want 3 months!” at which point he would ask for money. Either that, or he said it hoping I would flip out, and then he’d go “Aha!  You are here to circumvent our laws! No Entry!” Or mabe he was just joking with me. Moroccans do love to joke. I’d say that I misunderstood, but he said all this in English.

So I rode on the bus back home fading between blind, face-boiling angry and stomach-curdling hungry. I’ve always said that the only two emotions a man should feel are angry and hungry, and if that’s true, this was the manliest weekend I’ve ever spent. Yesterday I was in rare form indeed, all wild-eyed and cursey-mouthed.

Anyway, as you can see below, information recieved from The Comission indicates the choices for a border guard are 3 months and zero months. There’s no inbetween. So I am good. Well, my entry permit is good. Whether or not I am a Rajel Mezian is for cab drivers to determine.

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2 Responses to The Weekend Part III: I’ve Actually Never Been To Millitant Training Camp, Actually.

  1. Alex M says:

    WOW. You. are. the man.* Nuff said.

    *Colloquiolism of “the man” here intended as “someone who is exceptionally gifted in one or more ways and deserving of respect and kudos for said giftings, especially after recent demonstration of said giftings.” Not to be confused with “one with a selfish agenda, who controls the masses, especially in financial matters.”

  2. AZ says:

    Well, welcome to the insanity of international border crossing.

    If you dont know what I mean, just ask any of your chinese graduate students in the department to tell you horror stories about their visa experience. What they go through in the US embassy in China, the fact that they have to go to Canada to renew their visa, etc… Or ask any non EU/US citizens that tried to deal with the french or german “immigration”.

    If the end is good, all is good… Stop the pringles and go eat something good now 🙂

    AZ

    PS> I like the sound of “angry and hungry” – très poétique.

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