GETTING STONED IN TANGIER, A Memoir of 1970


Going through my written memories called “Jasmine Remains” of my time spent in Tangier in 1971. My daughter and I dancing at the Moroccan Palace. Strange times indeed.I found this link as reference. Enjoyable and honest,straight forward read.

Source: GETTING STONED IN TANGIER, A Memoir of 1970

I See


Ocean_Tide_Caves

(Caves of Hercules)

Been to London

Been to France

Traveled by Train through Spain

Passing Sunflowers in the Rain

Transfixed by island of Es Vedra
Sirens of the Sea
IBIZA

Rode camels in the desert

Sit in ruins of mammoth caves
of Myths and Hercules Legions engraved
at times secluded by the tide

Walked the maze of streets
Following white feathers

Medina’s filled with spice and trinkets

Smelled the Moroccan Rose with Jasmine entwined

Views of Gibraltar from the vine filled terrace
Snow capped Rif and Atlas Mountains

Sipping mint tea from Baba’s Cafe
Smoking Kif and Hashish

My ever watchful mother’s eye on a two-year old
with wanderlust

Moments on Polaroid confiscated
Of this special place and time

Prose by

2Cynthia_Sig_Aqua copy

Tiny_Tiny_phoenix Phoenix  (Cynthia J. m ART z)

 

Es-Vedra-Ibiza

(Mystical island of Es Vedra)

Popular myths surrounding Es Vedra include that it was the home of the sirens and sea-nymphs who tried to lure Ulysses from his ship in Homer’s Odyssey, and the birth place and holy island of the Phoenician goddess, Tanit.

Tangier Memories Justified


Bellowing_Clouds_Tangier

Bellowing Clouds ~an azure blue sky above Tangier

A few weeks ago I started having my usual dreams of Tangier and realized it was after all the month of July. We had arrived in Tangier mid July 1971 having flown from Dulles to London and then backpacked through , France and Spain. It was a journey of a lifetime. Not many can say they have experienced such a trip. I mention TRIP because it was just that A Major Trip!

So I started doing Google searches and put in Achmed, Tangier and this pops up.

First I notice a book calledSiren’s feast~A Edible Odyssey by Nancy Mehagian and the excerpt made my eyes bulge Smile

“No matter what I did in Tangier, at some point each day, I would return to Achmed’s like a homing pigeon. The meals served were sumptuous and Achmed …”

I researched further and ended up purchasing the book. It is an amazing story and validated that I had not in any way exaggerated or embellished my story. She had met the one and the same “Hole in the Head, Ahmad.

The same Ahmad that partied with the Rolling Stones and supplied the hash he was so well-known for.

The book also has the best of the best recipes. The food in Morocco is extraordinaire.

I then purchased Keith Richards book “Life” and he mentions the parties with Ahmad in his shop in the Medina. He said “We enjoyed being transported,  ‘You could be Sinbad the Sailor, One Thousand and One Nights. We loved it.’

Now, I am on another search. Ahmad was on the cover of the Rolling Stones magazine with a group of models. (Circa Vintage 1969-1970) I found it years ago in the DC Archives but did not get a copy. Now, it seems lost too me and I will continue with my search. It was not imagined. I seen it twice. In his shop and in the archives when we returned to the States.

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection”

Anais Nin

Missing In France


Where is Buffy?

Keeping up with a two year old is trying in the best of situations.

In our travels through Europe, I found out the meaning of the word panic. The first incident occurred in France. We had went to the train station, resting on our sleeping bags. I closed my eyes for just a moment. Buf was sleeping peacefully. I had not rested very long. Evans had went to get us a snack. I opened my eyes and she was gone. I looked all around. Evans came back and we began our search. I was sick to my stomach, and my head was spinning. All sorts of thoughts went flashing in my mind. What if a stranger had taken her?  My baby!  At about the time we had no hope, over the announcement speakers came, “We have a young American child, would the parents please come to the central office”.

It seems she had wandered off and made friends with a Frenchman that was on a ladder painting. He had given her a pastry.

puff_pastry_france

In France puff pastry is called pâte feuilletée or feuilletage or mille feuille

Not seeing anyone with her he took her to the office.
We knew we had to be more careful. Buffy was such a good child. She was very friendly, we had instilled trust in her and with her inquisitive nature we knew the next time might not have a happy and joyous end.

In Tangier we had to let her down, and besides she was a sturdy little one. She would climb on the high walls in the medina, it would make my heart skip beats. She was fearless.
I remember another time she had been playing with a few children, laughing as they do.We were getting directions from someone and poof she had vanished! When you are in the medina, all the dwelling places look so cold and gray. We started knocking on doors. At one of these dwellings, they invited us in.

Tangier_Medina
Medina

We went down a narrow corridor and like in the Wizard of Oz everything changed. There was a beautiful courtyard with fountains and the trellis was overflowing with Moroccan Roses and Jasmine.

The music was mellow and very middle Eastern.
There in the mist was my child.
We had found her once again.

Jasmine Remains

Busted in Tangier


Kif Pipe

Busted
Everything seemed so cool. We were so high, plenty of kif in the apartment, pipes, bongs, hookahs, pot on the roof, where no man could go. Only women were allowed to hang clothes after the wash. No problems. The guys bid their fond farewells. How exciting!
Well, they were back pretty darn quick. On the way to the port, the tires blew, seems we overdid the stuffing. They came in, put on there disguise and told us to start flushing. Luckily we had a toilet with a chain flush.
After that we put the rest of the paraphernalia on the roof and sit back and waited.

BANG,BANG.

The front door was shaking, I opened it and four Moroccan police were forcing their way in.
They tore everything up. After finding nothing they took Evans and our passport.
I really didn’t think it was serious, and told him I would meet him at BaBa’s.
He never showed up.
The girls and I went back to the apartment. The next morning they watched Rhea, and I did what I had to do.
I was afraid to tell the American Embassy, so I turned to Ahmad. He took me to a Bain  (Turkish Bath) and had me bathed, then we smoked.
I was so confused and I did not know what to do.

He said “Thanks to the Gods”, he would put Rhea in school and I would be his fifth wife.

Reeling from that statement, police that I recognized called him out. I heard laughter, and in the pit of my stomach I felt sick. It was all a setup.

It was almost Ramadan, they sleep all day and party all night.

I see Ahmad at his Shop. We make love in his loft. At my apartment he is with me, but not in the flesh. A strong wind blows the window open, he is with me, I feel him.

My birth control pills have mysteriously disappeared?

At court the following day they move Evans to the big ancient prison up in the Medina. The same place we took pictures with defanged cobra’s around our necks that tourists took pictures of.

The next day I take Rhea to Cafe Paris on the boulevard. We have mint tea and I feel as I am in a dream and soon I will awake.

The intersection is very busy.

I know it is time to go to the American Embassy.

Southbound France


Southbound

Sunflowers_France

The french name for sunflowers is tournesol.

We were so determined to reach Tangier.

A epidemic of Cholera didn’t even put fear in us. We were young and just didn’t realize how different things are in other countries. I remember sitting in central Madrid, and my fantasies  were of the matadors and fighting bulls. We had much more important things to think about.  I remember it raining so hard, and Rhea was not a light load. Up and down hills, hitching rides, going a little further each day.

It rained so much in France that I borrowed a huge umbrella. It was in one of these huge cisterns that sit in front of the quaint little cafes. It covered all three of us nicely.

I had tired of the plastic bags. I was also getting my fill of bread, yogurt, wine and cheese. After , the planes, trains, and buses  were no longer affordable, one plan of many came to mind.  It dawned on my dear that he would go on the train and find a reserved compartment.

Once onboard, he found one that was reserved for much later that evening.
The destination ~Malaga,Spain.
So, he picked the lock, and we were now sitting very comfortable in some one else’s  cabin unbeknownst to anyone. We had food and water and of course the wine.The train made lots of stops, and I would get off at various ones.

At one of these short stops, the train left. I was terrified. Evans and Rhea are a sleep on this train that just pulled out. The very nice gentleman (Bushiemb) he is from Tangier gets us a cab to the next stop, I board without any problems. As I enter the boxcar, I breathe a sigh of relief, they are both still sound a sleep.
Onward the train chugs, the sunflowers are passing by so quickly, they are so beautiful and scenic  .

The country is flat, you can see for miles. It rains off and on, and I am so glad we are not walking in it.

Malaga is a fish port, the Straights of Gibraltar separate us from the tip of Africa, Tangier,Morocco.

What happened next was not what we had in mind. The train starting slowing down. We had no idea that tickets would be checked, and  we didn’t have any. There was a lot of hollering (Spanish) which I didn’t comprehend, but I knew that it concerned us. They were so upset, they sent us back to Madrid.

Oh well,on to next plan. We had met this great couple. They had a car, and were on holiday. They invited us to go as far south as they were going, which just happened to be Malaga. We had a jolly time,and we could relax.

So, we see the countryside three times.

Those sunflowers made a lasting impression.