Monday, December 7, 2015

A Moroccan apology

Gare routiere de Voyageurs Agadir - thats what the sign says. It means nothing to me, other than it must be where the Supratours bus will arrive in Agadir, because there are lots of other buses and people and baggage. And smoking men drinking single espresso and a side water watching soccer on big screens around cocktail tables. We point to order the same, trying to look similarly passionate about the correct team.  We fit in perfectly, other than our boardshorts and slops amongst high shine shoes and dark leather  - and the language and team. The Casablanca bus arrives and good fortune rather than planning ensures the correct family meet each other at the right time, half way around the world away from home.
Bags and surfboards of all sizes pile up on the pavement but we still need to get through the terminus to find our car and load it. Someone grabs the tail of the board bag and offers to help. I've been in this situation before - no one offers for free, I'm on a budget but he won't let go. So I negotiate. 5 dirham maximum before we go any further. A wave away, 'no money - I will help carry'...sure...I am clear that five is the most I will pay, preferring to die under the load than part with holiday cash. So we start our grumbling train of luggage into the busy Gare whatsisname. Through the manic terminus, past bumping crowds. I stop regularly to confirm no additional charge for stairs. ' No money - I help your family' - sure buddy, it must be at least double by now. Ten dirham max - they have a way of pushing you. I've been here before. Finally through the exit, past taxi touts and hash offers, its another half kilometer to the car. He's hanging on. That anyone would carry a pile of longboards for 5 dirham eludes me, but I won't be budged on sympathy.
Finally at my beaten rental, we relieve the cramp and lower the boards, exhausted. My coin is ready, on its own in my right pocket - never show them you have more. 'No problem my friend, I like to help your family, they look tired'. I'm stunned. He presses his key remote and one of the finer German offroad vehicles flashes back. I notice his high shine shoes. ' Enjoy Morocco!' he says in parting, smiling at the five dirham in my hand.
Twitter: deon_bing

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