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.

Just Faces


Seen the movie Mr. Nice tonight. Buffy had recorded it. We had never heard of it. Yet, it is a true story of drug smuggling, Ireland, and  bureaucracy.
It led me to instigate a word press blog post.  Been a bit non-committal of late with blogging.

I went to my posts on Morocco and found the one that tells the best of Tangier. The streets, the people. The dead chickens swinging in the putrid air.

Road to Tangier

I remember staying late into the night at Baba’s. The cafe the Rolling Stones frequented during visits. It was an ethereal world of burning incense. The swirls of hashish circling and weaving the room covered with mats.

Cafebaba

It must not have bothered me walking down the narrow stairs, the crooked steps that led from Baba’s back into the Medina and then the Petit Succo where we would get a cab the remainder of the way back uptown to 62 Rue Delacroix.

Buffy was invariably sleeping and her dad usually carried her. In retrospect this was a good thing because I would have probably been unable to do so in my state of oblivion.

Months before, when we first came into the city we were broke. I would meet men. My mate would arrange the set ups. I recall it was always in a huge place and others seemed to be doing the same thing so it really didn’t bother me. The man would order a complete feast of food for us. Then I would go off with him and hubby would stay with Buffy. I was never gone long and always came back with a good sum of money.

Mohammad the man who rented the apartment to us grabbed me one day and pinned me up against the wall and had his way with me. Things were always fast and impersonal. He had (Red Roses) delivered to our apartment and a note saying the rent was free for the following month.

My hubby did not arrange that one. Many men were called Mohammad. On one occasion I was told to go inside. I looked to see that they had prevented him from entry. I seen him leaning up against the door as I entered the room. That was a bit frightening for me.

After he was busted I was only with Ahmad the man we met on Halloween prior to my husband’s arrest on conspiracy charges.

It was better for me and safer. The other men were just faces in the darkness. Fully dressed, sweaty, fumbling , intense, and in a hurry. That was fine.

Ahmad had a beautiful face. He was in his late 40’s I suppose, married to several women and had many children. He was wealthy and shared his wealth as only Philanthropists do. He resembled Jimi Hendricks and was known as “Hole in the Head” He was also known as “King of the Hashish” The high was dreamy and detached, like that of opium or a sedative-hypnotic prescription drug, combined with a mildly hallucinogenic overlay. It was smoked in a jeweled golden sipsi. My shoes falling behind me as I walked from the hash den, looking down I realized they were on my feet?

Tripping off of smoke

When we returned to the States we could not get high on any pot or hash that our friends said was the best. We had been spoiled and it took some time for the effects we experienced in Tangier to dissipate.

Even now after all these years when I smoke a chillum, take a bong hit or a few tokes I am seemingly reconnected to the same high I experienced in Tangier.

He expanded. When I was there in 1971, he had the back room as the Bain. Then from the back, more pillows and the stairs leading to the loft. I guess he went up, the only way you can go.

Tangiers’ sheltering, and ever inspiring, vividly blue sky.

Ahmed a(h)-med as a boy’s name is pronounced AH-med. It is of Arabic origin, and the meaning of Ahmed is “highly praised or one who constantly thanks God”. One of the many names of the prophet Muhammad, and popular with American Muslims.

Ahmed has 10 variant forms: Achmad, Achmed, Ahmaad, Ahmad, Ahmet, Ahmod, Amad, Amadi, Amahd and Amed.

He gave food and clothing to the children in the mountains in the coldest of winter. Jilbab’s to warm them and shoes for their bare feet.

Jilbab

In every café a picture of him was right there along with the prized picture of King Hassan.  He knew what he wanted and he secured what he wanted. I was his chosen one. Now, I realize I was chosen only until I no longer obeyed him. I obeyed him unknowingly at times, his will had a control over me.

So many chances, and so many times I was in serious circumstances and did not even know the extent of the darkness I had allowed.

This is an attempt at rewriting a chapter of my story about my stay in Tangier. I left so much out.

My Feelings.

Story Excerpt “Jasmine Remains”

I allowed myself to be used by my husband because I felt I needed to survive. Being in a foreign country, having just one person that is supposed to be your savior in all ways to allow such things to happen. Shaking my head at the betrayal of it.

I was raised to believe that you believe in your husband and that you do what needs to be done to keep things operating smoothly. I grew up on that journey. Coming back home to the states it did not take me long to separate myself from him. Maybe it was the times, free love, intoxication of drugs and a different thought process.

Regretfully, but for some unknown reason or reasons I allowed myself to be used and abused in future relationships. My self-esteem seemed to have no cares.

I began to realize that I used men for love and attention. Many years it involved going down the wrong paths and falling into all the wrong holes in the sidewalk.

I feel free.

I am not involved with anyone romantically, but I know if that feeling ever comes my way again I will value and appreciate the powerful force that I am.

I will never allow abuse from anyone in the name of love, drugs or insecurities.

I will no longer be drained by their vampire need to control. I am in control. I hold my own reigns.

My ongoing journey is progressing smoothly Smile

This song reminds me of my sojourn. It’s Jazz the way I like it too.

Well I’m buckled up inside
It’s a miracle that I’m alive
I do not think I can survive
On bread and wine alone
To think that I could have fallen
A centimeter to the left
Would not be here to see the sunset
Or have myself a time
(refrain)
Well why do the hands of time
So easily unwind
Some lessons we learn the hard way
Some lessons don’t come easy
That’s the price we have to pay
Some lessons we learn the hard way
They don’t come right off and right easy
That’s why they say some lessons learned we learn the hard way
Remember the sound of the pavement
World turned upside down
City streets unlined and empty
Not a soul around
Life goes away in a flash
Right before your eyes
If I think real hard well I reckon
I’ve had some real good times
(refrain)
Well why do the hands of time
So easily unwind
Some lessons we learn the hard way
Some lessons don’t come easy
That’s the price we have to pay
Some lessons we learn the hard way
They don’t come right off and right easy
That’s why they say some lessons learned we learn the hard way

Tangier Journal


We first arrived in Tangier by way of a very old over crowded bus. The  dirt roads, rolling hills separating Ceuta from the port of  Tangier. We had come across the Straights of  Gibraltar.
It was a long ride. We had to stop constantly because of bad roads, cows laying out in the noon day’s heat. Not to mention problems with the bus brakes. A 29 mile harrowing adventure.

Our first impression of Tangier consisted of very young boys trying to sell us kif and hashish.

Pension Miami was the first place we stayed. Rhea was not completely potty trained and the balcony came in handy to air out our sleeping gear. 

Later, we rented a very nice apartment at 62 Rue Delacroix with two bedrooms,a balcony, a nice roof top and pull chain latrine.

Our camera and all pictures were confiscated by the Moroccan police.

Here is a link to some great pictures of  Tangier,Morocco

Halloween in Tangier

Halloween at any time is a strange time, but I will never forget October 31st 1971. We had decided we would drop white lighting and go to the disco (Underground). I was going with the girls, and Evans would stay home with his latest love interest. The acid was so pure. The big pits in the ground looked like huge craters, and all the black cats were arching their backs and looked like panthers. We made our way to the club. James Brown was playing on their sound system. The beads I had on broke and looked like they were falling in slow motion. We had a blast.

In the morning light, the smell of the Moroccan Rose and Jasmine filled the air, it had seemed so much heavier the night before. The pure white was wearing off. I went to the bakery and picked out fresh loaves of bread, tearing the insides out and leaving just the shell. Then I brought some to the apartment and Evans made coffee.

I must tell you what happened Halloween Eve. Evans and I had taken Rhea to the store to get her some Moroccan chocolates. We could not afford the snickers that she wanted, which she was not very pleased about.

There he stood! A man looking like Jimmi  Hendrix, flashy clothes, big wads of American money. I looked at him, and he started walking towards me. I whispered to Evans that I thought perhaps we had been dealing with the wrong people. He gave Rhea a snickers and candy to every child in the store.

He came very close to me and invited us to his shop.

I was very interested.

His name was Ahmad.

Totem – Snake


Interesting…

Researching,and realized my birth totem is the Snake.In Tangiers I was attracted to Cobra’s and took many pictures of them.When I returned home I brought a statue of a Cobra with red beaded eyes that was given too me as a gift.
During this time I played the ouija board and the cobra’s eyes actually glowed.It frightened me at the time and I threw it out a third floor window.I never retrieved it.

Oct 23 – Nov 22
Birth Moon: Freeze Up
Animal Totem: Snake
Mineral Totem: Copper & Malachite
Plant Totem: Thistle
Directional Totem: Grizzly Bear
Elemental Clan Totem: Frog
Affinity Color: Orange
Personality Traits: purposeful, determined, imaginative, intense, impulsive, mysterious, discerning, ambitious, clear, decisive

Snake

Because of its ability to periodically shed its skin, the snake represents transformation, change, and renewal. And those born with Snake as their birth totem are inclined to shed their skins by way of making dramatic, and sometimes drastic, changes in their lives from time to time, letting go of their current ties and attachments, and starting again anew. They may make sudden decisions such as to quit their job, or change their occupation, or sell their house, or move to a new city, or totally reinvent themselves. Sometimes, however, they make these changes at inopportune times, thereby causing unnecessary upset and suffering to themselves as well as to others.

Change isn’t necessarily always easy for Snake people, but they are adaptable to anything that is new to them. For Snake people, their lives are usually a lifelong transformation. They may start out making changes that are for purely selfish reasons.
However, as the Snake person goes through life, their selfish changes will usually eventually transform into more constructive changes which benefit not only themselves, but others as well. Snake people may also start out as insensitive and hurtful towards others, (see note below) but then their ability to wound will usually turn into the ability to heal. Snake people can be especially helpful to those suffering from alcoholism or drug abuse.

It has taken me many years to feel the power of the Phoenix.I was that Scorpion on the ground,stinging anything and everything that got in my way 🙂
Including myself.
When I knew the Dark Nights of my Soul were killing me I aspired to be a Eagle and fly free.
Blogging has opened up a new way of expressing myself.

At present I am in the process of slowing my incessant Chatter in my brain.

I feel like an Energized Bunny devouring an encyclopedia at times.

My sister always says “You are a open book”
My reply is “all the better to read and understand”
Sometimes I feel I am just getting started figuring out the real me.
You know what?
The Journey never ends.

My personal totem has always been the Dragonfly

Now that I am older I am drawn to the Phoenix

SmallerTransparentMy_phoenix_tatto

Totem – Snake.