August 28, 2008
So I am in Rabat and my good man Nabil tells me the luggage allowance is 32 kils per bag, and we get two bags and a carry on. But then he appends that it may be 23 kilos. It is, in fact, 23 kilos. So I went to the post office. Sending a book to the US, just under a kilogramme, would be 200 DH, which is over 20 dollars. The guy at the customs thing says to send my concrete I need an attestation that it’s for research, but if a book is 200, concrete will me a lot more.
So I figure I will get an extra bag. According to the Royal Air Maroc website the charge for this is 200 dollars. And I don’t even know yet if I’m getting a connecting flight and will need to pay twice because the MACECE person in charge of flights is horrendous at teh emailz.
Arg arg arg arg arg shit just can’t go easy. Arg.
August 26, 2008
So, here’s my day in the Medina: Wake up. Have a loaf of bread and some “cheese sauce” for breakfast. Play a spot of Civilization II. Go to meet Rachid the tailor, as I am picking up a Djellaba for a certain special someone. (Surprise! It’s Elrond.) Return home and watch a Kung-Fu movie. Get a phone call from my grandmother?
Then it was eating time. So I left to go to my usual Maqooda guy. He’s all out. I stop at the mal’awi stand and the kid behind the counter says “Robert! I thought you were in the US! How is John?” I explain to him what the deal is. Then I pop across the street to chew the fat for a few minutes with my Couscous guy, the one who thinks I’m Andrew. Stroll down the street and, around the corner from my house, a kid swipes the hat out of my back pocket. I shout “Thief!” in Arabic and charge him. He’s so surprised he tosses it back to me. Ah well, kids will be kids. Well, they won’t be if they persist in swiping my headwear. Then they’ll be mulch.
Anyway, it’s really nice to just wander the medina qdiima stopping to chat with people I know. I feel like the Godfather, except that I have to pay for street food. (Though I get a discount on couscous because I bring people to him, and I pay half price for mqooda because I eat so much of it.)
Gravy me, I’m going to miss this place. And coke that doesn’t contain corn syrup.
August 24, 2008
Good evening to your evenings.
I seem to recall a penny arcade comic wherein Tycho’s brain is unable to stand the absolute stupidness of the recent Die Hard movie, so it up and leaves. I felt quite the same way when watching The Transporter, or, as it is called in my version, Le Transporteur. What a crappy world of product placement and plot holes they’ve created for themselves. Ugh. THEY ARE STEALING TEH INTERNETS! Would be a step up on this movie.
On an unrelated note, I also recently watched a movie called Running on Karma. It’s by the same guy who directed a movie called My Left Eye Sees Ghosts. It was absolutely terrifying at first. For the first, say, 60% of the movie it’s as scary as Une Affair de Gout. And Elrond can attest to this: Une Affaire de Gout is like the mafia have shown up in your brain and are rearranging the furniture.
Where did Running on Karma go wrong? I don’t know, perhaps it was when the main character realized that the person who murdered his best friend several years ago was himself from the future? And they both meet and have tea? And then himself from the future is arrested, but himself from the present just wanders off, completely re-writing the recent past?
Look, I’m tired of you people trying to bring a fresh look on time travel. Straight freaking line. No do-overs, dammit.
PS – Elrond, the Wetzel, Lisa: Fire up the intertube. We’ve got to find a copy of My Left Eye Sees Ghosts. Or as I like to think of it, R-Point II: S Point I.
August 20, 2008
So, I am back in the Queen of Cities, Fes the Magnificent. I want to describe my day to you, and at the end compare it to some familar phrases. However, I try and not to use too much graphic imagery (i.e., the flight attendant story has gone as yet untold) and no curse words (aside from calling the concept of international currencies bullshit once.) So, anyway, I will describe my day, and then compare it to some colloquialisms, but with the dirty bits replace with [bland descriptions in brackets.]
So anyway, this morning I wake up in the zellij-covered bedroom of a house several hundred years old in the heart of the old medina. I futz on the internet for a while, then go out for a stroll. I run into Abdelaziz, the storekeeper, Rachid the tailor, and the other storekeeper I know. I chat with each of them for ten minutes apeice, or so, in Arabic, and keep going. I then purchase ten maqoodas, little blobs of mashed potatoe that have been covered in spicy batter and deep fried. On the way home, I pick up a kung fu movie for a dollar. I then sit and eat and watch. Later, I go to the couscous joint I like, and the proprietor charges me 30 dirhams instead of 45 because I am a regular and tells me not to tell anyone. I then meet up with a young lady of the highest caliber and have a digestif.
It’s been said that a pig is happiest when it is [in poopie.] It has also been said that a dog is happiest when it has [two reproductive organs]. If you are ever walking down the street and see a dog with two [reproductive organs], be aware that the comparison should be reversed. You should point to that dog and say “he’s happier than Aaron in Fes.” Likewise, if you happen to go to the farm, and see a pig relaxing, just hanging out in “[teh pooz]”, getting his relaxation on, you should point to that pig and say “he’s happier than Aaron in Fes.”
Because Aaron in Fes should be the new international yardstick for enjoying onesself.
August 16, 2008
International currency exchange is bullshit. Seriously. When I arrived in Morocco, the US Dollar was at an all time low. It couldn’t buy squat. Now that I am ready to leave, all of a sudden, it shoots up again. So now whatever dirhams I can figure out how to trade in will be worthless. A thousand curses upon you, international currency exchange rates!
Anyway, so, one day a badly injured man stumbles in to a town in Southern Egypt. The mayor asks him what happened, and he tells a terrible story about being in the sudan, and being tortured, and the militias burning his house, and that he was being held hostage in a hospital but escaped by going to the bathroom and climbing out the window. The next day two more men arrive and tell the same story, they escaped from the same place and the same window. The day after, it’s three more men. So the mayor decides something must be done. He calls up the head doctor at the hospital in Khartoum and asks if it’s true. The doctor doesn’t come right out and say it, but he admits it’s true. The mayor demands that something be done about it. “What do you want me to do?” Asks the doctor. The mayor replies: “Perhaps you could put bars over the window?”
August 14, 2008
It is over 100 degrees out and I just ate some devilish contraption called a “Double Big Mac”. At least 6 hamburger patties were involved; I fear that perhaps there were more but the centre of the sandwich had collpased in upon itself like some dying star. I am not a smart person and I do not do smart things.
August 2, 2008
So, I wake up today and I have 3 emails about my website, theironskeptic.com. That’s odd, because normally I get like one email a month. So I go to the statistics page to check, and for the last three days, I’ve averaged 60,000 requests a day. That’s not the same as page requests, though, so I don’t know what that means.
Why the sudden surge in interest in space aliens? And why the ‘flood’ of emails?