Another Phosphate Town
Trip Start May 01, 2001
44Trip End Jun 30, 2001
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6 hours, 9.5 kms
I decide to stay the night in the nearby town of Oued Zem--so I grab a "taxi kbir" across a barren landscape of phosphate mine waste and conveyer belts that stretch out into the horizon. Hop off at the edge of Oued Zem so I can walk into town.
"How much are your rooms?" I ask a long-bearded fellow at a small hotel.
"There are rooms for 50 dirhams and rooms for 80" he answers
"How about a room for 40 dirhams?" (4 euros)
He grins, "I suppose we could work that out".
After he shows me the room, he has a sudden change of heart "tell you what, I'm going to let you have the 80 dirham room with a bathroom for 40 dirhams... and you know why? I just love hearing you speak in Arabic!"
I knew my language skills were worth money...
I quickly head out to parkbench before it got to late--followed the crowds to a palm tree lined park around a big pond...I guess it's Oued Zem's place to be in the evening... and lucky me--there was one empty park bench left...
It seems that Oued Zem goes by "desert schedule" which means that the city doesn't really come alive until evening--and stays alive until late into the night... So I wander off through the market area and to the city's edge... parkbench some more... finally head to bed at around midnight...
Next morning I go off exploring in a new direction--until the city abruptly ends and the barren hills began--and trucks and horsecarts waited to carry folks to the surrounding villages...