Friday, May 9, 2008


After finally exploring the gloomy remnants of cafes and low-budget sea-side resorts at Robinson Plage (empty pools, etc) I was especially eager to make the trek to Hoceima. A long time coming, I admittedly let myself build it up in anticipation, the long imagined home of Mohamed and Mohamed (and Mohamed and Mohamed).

The six hour approach managed to include a stack of misadventures including the creepily determined, possibly high, car-chasing hash-dealers they warn you about in guidebooks. They put on an impressive performance, luckily shy of running us off the road. The eventual disappearance of each obstacle was only an introduction to a new one on the one lane mountain road to Hoceima. At points we ventured off-course only to be met by potholes and gloom. The first glimpse of the Rif cuddling up to the sea coaxed some gasps, mostly on my part, a pretty constant gasper on the whole. But as we approached the city in our tiny white fiat, still pure and genuinely curious, there came an overwhelming sinking feeling, felt by all parties.
We spent two hours in Al Hoceima, inspecting the gloomy premises, before we decided to flee- or more appropriately- to escape-
no Talla Youssef, a taste of Cala Iris, a taste of the public beach.

Upon my return Uthman interrogated me on what I’d seen and why didn’t I tell him. Come with me next week, he pleaded. I casually blocked his hand from touching my knee and explained that I would never return to Hoceima.

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