Out with the bath water | Nomad


An integral part of Moroccan culture is the hammam.  Also know as: bathhouse, steam room or sadistic torture chamber. Do I have your attention now? OK, because I want to tell you all the graphic de…

Source: Out with the bath water | Nomad

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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

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 fucked me. Things were always fast and impersonal. He had flowers delivered to our apartment and a note saying the rent was free for the following month.

My hubby did not arrange that one it just happened. 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 vampirism 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.