Welcome to Africa


I´ve always wondered what it would be like to be amongst people in a state of panic. You know like on a sinking ship or burning building.

Well, here I was relaxing on the car ferry when all of a sudden there was an almighty bang and the whole ship shuddered. My first thought? “What do the other people look like?“ Well most people were fairly alarmed; you could almost smell the fear. However one Moroccan looked like his eyes were going to pop out as he ran to the window. I found out later that most can´t swim. It didn’t help that the guy I was sitting with said rather loudly “it’s a bomb“ in French. Smooth, that´ll calm the masses.

Speaking of the guy I was sitting with, he was French with 1.5 arms and only 3 yellow teeth. Interesting conversation though. He seemed quite proud of his English, demonstrating by naming pretty much the entire ships inventory in English. Fascinating. He even knew some English proverbs although his pronunciation was a bit off. “An apple…pause…a die…kip the doctor…pause…a why“. I think you get the idea. Anyway we made it safely to Morocco without any ‘abandon ship’ at least.

I landed in Ceuta which is actually still Spanish so I still needed to cross the border. What an absolute carnival! It used to be like a drive through border with certain windows where you present your documentation but it was basically lots of cars tooting, fake guides trying to climb in the window, and policemen trying to make sense of it all.

A fake guide helped me, of course for a small fee, but at least he told me what paperwork I needed to fill out and present saving me at least half the time. I thought Spanish drivers were bad with their triple parking and not obeying traffic lights, but Morocco is something else. Just saying there are no rules doesn’t quite do it justice. A bit interesting when you´re driving a brand new car with only 700 km on the clock.

Anyway, onwards towards Casablanca and some couchsurfers . I was staying with Yassine and Amin. Six unbelievable hours later I was relaxing with them in a cafe drinking mint tea surrounded by shishah smoking Moroccans.

Awesome, what an introduction to Morocco though, just in the first six hours I had seen the following: Absolute chaos at the border, dead empty motorways, a dead boy on the side of the road judging from the wailing sound, four sheep road blocks, countless policemen who could be straight out of the movie ´Casablanca´ with their pencil thin moustaches, lots of donkeys and carts, absolutely no use of indicators, almost no road markings, 50 000 drivers beeping their horns, and pedestrians who think the road is a footpath. What a day!