Worstest Hits

We are finally leaving Morocco, but until I’m on the ferry and the ferry has left the port, I’m not counting on anything. The country might still want to hurt me.

We are in the waiting room at the port in Tanger. Here’s a thing about traveling by ferry when you don’t have a car. We have to check in at the latest at 19h00, but we can’t get on the boat until 22h00 (the boat leaves at midnight). I’m okay with just sitting here and reading and writing, but I’d like to be in my room and not move until we arrive. I’m pretty depressed.

Today I had the final gut punch, but it needs some context. For our last two nights, we stayed in a lovely, rather expensive beach hotel in Moulay Bousselham. The hotel was like the set of one of those movies where a perfect, put together woman wears whites and beiges and has perfect nails, while actually being a spy or an international gun for hire. The juxtaposition of the impeccable accommodation and the ruthlessness of the main character trumps the viewer and turns their expectations all around and backwards. I should have been prepared, but I wasn’t.

We went there because it’s near to a nature preserve and rather close to where we had to drop off the car. We hired a boat yesterday with a birding enthusiast and went around for a couple of hours, looking at terns and spoonbills and plovers. It was quite beautiful.

Grey heron at Merja Zerga nature preserve

The food in the hotel was European, and after a full six weeks of a two choice menu (tajine or couscous), it was nice to try something different: fish, in this case.

I jumped in the ocean for the last time yesterday. It’s still warm enough for that, but the waves were too big for me to feel comfortable, so I just got wet and came out. The lovely hotel has a pool, so to make sure I did the full-on cold plunge, I got in for a minute or two after the ocean. Sometimes the cold can jerk me out of a funk. I was feeling pretty good after that.

Waves and a plunge pool

Then we got in the car to drive out, and I kind of laughed because there were cows being grazed in the middle of a building complex. Those were the lucky cows.

We drove on a bit further, and there was an open air dump. The birding was even better there since there were storks, but there were also cows. Cows eating plastic. Birds eating plastic. I started crying. I still want to cry. I want to curl up in the cabin of the ferry and not move.

As readers of forolavache know, I’ve become particular about cows. They are mostly sweet, harmless animals who get treated pretty badly by humans. Even when they are young, they don’t rate as cute as maybe lambs or baby goats, and we do pretty horrible things to them. The males are mostly butchered young, and the females, if they are lucky, have lots of calves and spend their last days being gorged on a feed lot, and are then butchered a bit later in life. It’s rare that they are raised like my sister’s cows, who live with a bull and have acres and acres to run around in. She raises mostly breeding stock, so while many of her animals wind up on someone’s plate, it’s not the only option for them. And she feeds them hay, not plastic.

I can see Gibralter from where I’m sitting. I’m ready to start swimming, so much I want to get out of here.

Just before taking a taxi to get to Tanger Med, a young handicapped man came up asking for money. He has scars all over him, I imagine from being kicked and beaten up. I didn’t take a photo of him, since that would have been rude. My partner gave him an orange to eat.

I think you can partially judge a society by how they treat their weakest members. I think this can be used for humans and animals. I want to take their “inchallah” and shove it down their damned throats, but my fury is worth nothing, and the other option is just to curl up in a ball with Foro on the ferry. I don’t want to come back, but I know how weak that is of me. Just because I don’t want to see it doesn’t mean that it won’t exist. I just don’t know what to do with this. It all just seems so hopeless. The title of this is ‘worstest’ because there has to be something more than ‘worst’.

The “lucky” calves in the building site
Cows and birds eating plastic in an open air dump

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