tourism

a micro culture of tissue sales

Earlier today Tarifa was the most beautiful, most photographable place I’d been so far, but tonight already the Tangier medina has surpassed it. I know it’s wrong to not take one zillion pictures of spices in sacks, but what will I do with them?

I observe a micro culture of tissue sales here, the evidently comparatively impoverished peddling little pocket packs in the flowing urban foot traffic.

My Visa isn’t working at either of the automated teller machines I tried, neither the one recommended by our hotelier, around the corner, nor at a sketchier exchange bureau that was going to charge me a ten percent commission.

On our walk back from dinner in the kasbah I saw a tourist ask one of the tissue-sellers, cross-legged on the street, for directions and wished a little too late I’d given the latter a five dirham coin for her troubles and to model better visitor eco-behavior for the former, but I had neither the thought nor the currency.

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and I said tagine

~ i wrote ~

Hi. I’m in the Sahara. Helping these Berber guys install toilets in the new toilets tent because the existing one got buried in sand. There is sand everywhere. It’s in my shoes and my socks and my bed and my hair and my teeth and building up behind my eyeballs. They don’t even fight it. Everyone just goes around barefoot except when the sand is too hot to touch, which is approximately between ten AM and six PM. Around midnight or one AM last night, when it had finally cooled off, we took a mattress up into one of the dunes to not bother the tourists who were sleeping outside and lay in the sand and smoked shisha and looked at the stars. Today for lunch we had a tagine because Aziz asked me if I wanted tagine or something I couldn’t understand and I said tagine. He says tomorrow I will be the one to make it, Inshallah. Everything is going pretty well given that these guys speak no English and I, no Arabic and no Berber; we’re getting by in French even though theirs is even worse than mine. Now I have to go because Souleymane has the hookah up and running. Sorry you’re not here. I love you,

Your sister

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