Jamming in Morocco

DSC07118concert.JPG

This blog entry about the events of Saturday, June 26, 2004 was originally posted on June 30, 2004.

DAY 252:  Legendary international superstar Bob Marley has had a long lasting effect on the people in Essaouira.  Long after his departure not only were people big fans of his reggae music, they also tried to look like Rastafarians with kitschy woolen hats with dreads knitted into them.  But the Moroccan affection for Bob Marley epitomized at the Festival d’Essaouira’s big finale act:  The Wailers, Bob Marley’s former band.

Even with The Wailers in town, Sebastian and I almost didn’t see their performance.  As much as we wanted to that morning while eating homemade olive sandwiches in our hotel room (a favorite sandwich of my creation), we planned on doing the smart thing of making headway northbound towards Spain because we both only had limited time in Morocco and need to be in Europe in three days.

But when we tried to get an afternoon bus out of Essaouira, they were booked solid — we had no choice but to take an overnight bus to Rabat, leaving us to stay until nighttime to see The Wailers perform.  (Oh, poor us.)


THE SUN BLARED DOWN FROM ABOVE, baking the mostly blue- and white-painted seaside city with a beach to temperatures too hot for me to wear my galabiyya.  It was a shame I didn’t have it one when we stumbled upon the open liquor store, so that we could have done the experiment we wanted to try the day before.  However, even without the Muslim attire on, I was stopped by the clerk guarding the back of the store where the wines and hard stuff were.

“[Oh, you’re with him?]” he said, seeing Sebastian call to me from behind.

“Oui.”  He let me and my foreigner ways pass.

We killed the early afternoon on the roof terrace with ice-cold beers until show time.  We managed to snag a really good vantage point as The Wailers took to the stage.  The band members started playing reggae instrumentals until the lead singer showed up to singing classic Bob Marley tunes (picture above). 

“Lots of the Moroccans are wearing these hats [with the wool dreads knitted into them.]  That’s because they want to be like us!  Rastafari!

The sounds of the trumpet, saxophone, bass, keyboard, guitar and drums wailed through the air from the same group I’d heard time and time again on my Legend CD, only live.  I found it funny that I was listening to world-renowned Jamaican music in Morocco of all places, which was sort of like when I had really good Vietnamese food at Tony’s in Tanzania.  The lead singer ad libbed a bit for the occasion, changing the lyrics of some of the songs.  “We’ll be forever loving Ja” became “We’ll be forever loving Allah,” and “We’re jamming” became “We’re jamming in Morocco.”

After about an hour of playing, the band quietly left the stage without a band, the way most bands do in a concert pretending like the audience won’t ask for an encore, but knowing damn sure they will.  The Moroccan encore call was full of chants that were reminiscent of those in a Brazilian soccer match, with raised hands and waving fingers.  It wasn’t long until the band came back, this time led by a guy who played with The Wailers of Moroccan descent who had never been to Morocco before, but enjoyed the hero’s welcome.  He led a whole bunch of more songs, ad libbing as well.

“I remember… when we used to sit… in the government yard in Morocco…”

The encores ran until dusk with more Bob Marley classics like “One Love,” “Get Up, Stand Up,” and appropriately, “Exodus” when the band was about finished with their set.  There were more encore calls, but a festival organizer took the mic and explained that the festival was over, thanking the performers and the sponsors.

Before our own exodus, Sebastian and I killed some time at the beach and at a sidewalk cafe drinking mint tea (where yet another guy mistook me for Moroccan) until we got our bags and walked over to the bus terminal.  Inside our bus, the festival was still going strong with most passengers apparently of the Moroccan college crowd going back home after partying all weekend in Essaouira — complete with their clouds of hash smoke.  Singing continued with rhythmic clapping and drumming on the backs of seats, and it was a pretty rowdy time.  The 2004 Festival d’Essaouira may have been officially over, but it didn’t prevent people from jamming in Morocco.






Next entry: Funky Old Medina

Previous entry: Laid Back In My Galabiyya




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Comments for “Jamming in Morocco”

  • GREETINGS FROM BARCELONA!  Hey there, I’m still behind, but I’m getting there…  Sorry if the new entries seemed rush or if there are spelling/grammar errors.

    To make the long story short, I went from Essaouira to Fez to Tetouan to Ceuta to Algeciras to Madrid to Barcelona, all in a matter of three days. 

    More to come as it become available!

    THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/30  at  11:49 AM


  • wow.  that’s a lot of traveling.
    thanks for keeping up with the blog!

    Posted by Alyson  on  06/30  at  11:57 AM


  • QUESTION:  Is there anyone out there (SBRs included) that has used this Blog as a reference guide for planning their own trip?  Post a comment or e-mail me…  Thanks!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/30  at  12:04 PM


  • I’d say it’s made me want to visit Morocco and Ethiopia, but no actual planning at the moment.

    Posted by Alyson  on  06/30  at  12:06 PM


  • Erick:

    I’m with Alyson on this one.  Although I don’t have any actual travel plans at the moment, your trip has really opened my eyes to some places that previously I knew next to nothing about (i.e. Ethiopia) but now definately want to visit.

    I caught a Wailers performance as they passed through Costa Rica a couple of years ago.  It made for a really fun show, especially because as the mostly collage-aged Costa Ricans really got into it.  If my memory serves me, they also made local referances such as “We’re Jammin in Costa Rica”.  I guess its a crowd pleaser in any part of the world.

    Great post and I’m looking forward to reading about your upcoming travels in Europe.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/30  at  04:23 PM


  • definitely is a good reference guide…now i know what beer to drink, what cool things to do, and what to expect from all the places you have visited…

    ummm…kek

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/30  at  04:23 PM


  • I was planning on using a overland truck company to do africa.  But now I might do it independantly.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/30  at  04:35 PM


  • oh and i must add….it’s a good for indie travelling on a budget for any sized duration of travel and not just RTWs….

    umm and since it’s a blog with comments, the readers do bring more references to the table…umm i mean forum…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/30  at  04:44 PM


  • Erik -

    I don’t know when I am going on my RTW trip (hopefully next year) but I am keeping a journal with all the places you have been, what tours you liked and didn’t like, amazing places you have been and not-so amazing places.  Basically all the way down places you stayed and even the guy on the 13th floor in Rio. 

    Thanks for all the wisdom and isight.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/30  at  05:49 PM


  • Erik - definitely using your insights in my RTW planning.  I already know what my route is, in terms of countries, but your blog has convinced me to give some places a bit more time - and there are several places I want to add still smile  Not enough time or money though LOL

    Pics in this entry were great btw.  The olives were just so unfair - I’m living in a country where olives mean the jarred things with pimento stuck in them *cry*  I’d kill for some decent olives.

    Posted by Liz  on  06/30  at  06:26 PM


  • Erik,  I?m in Barcelona right now.  I?ll keep and eye out for you on the ramblas, maybe go for a beer.

    Bill

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/30  at  06:42 PM


  • dude, I may end up tracing your steps here next year ! BTW,  as being being mistaken for being Morrocan, well it could be worst you could be in the Phillipines & be mistaken for a Filipino errr what a minute ?!?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/30  at  08:16 PM


  • HEY, I?m still here on my first night in Barcelona, chillin?with my friend Jack from Miami…  needless to say, I?m pretty drunk right now…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  01:05 AM


  • ANYONE ELSE with a response to my QUESTION?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  01:05 AM


  • screw paypal.  We’ll be in barcelona on Tuesday, will you still be there?  If so, I’ll give you the $50 in person.  Where are you staying?  We’ll be at Hotel Nouvel, rooms under the name of Tim O’Connor (good Italian boy).

    TWH

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  01:11 AM


  • Erik - it’s made me live vicariously. I want to go to places that originally I didn’t really have much interest in going - meaning that certain places weren’t high on my list. For example - Zanzibar. I’ve heard that it’s warm, but who knew that the diving there would be so awesome or the water so purty? It’s good to get tips on specifics.

    Oh, and the first picture on ths page comes up as “Not Found on this server”.

    Have fun drinking - the Casablanca beer is CLASSIC!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  05:36 AM


  • Erik,
    Long-time SBR from Edmonton, Canada here.  I started reading shortly before you left, and have nearly caught up on the two months I missed while I was in Europe.  I just have the entire month of May left.

    Anyway, your blog has provided inspiration to visit many parts of the world, and now that I’m planning a trip to Peru, and possibly Bolivia, for next summer, I’m looking back at those entries for things that look cool to do, and to help determine what it’s reasonable to accomplish in just over a month.

    Keep up the writing.  It’s both amazing and inspiring.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  06:26 AM


  • YES - drunk…go get that beer gut back dood…

    ummmm….fireworks in montreal on canada day, eh….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  07:15 AM


  • go barcelona!!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  08:19 AM


  • Hey Erik,

    I’d have to say the -main- place that I never thought about, but now am because of your blog, is also Ethiopia.  -Oh, and of course that pillow hang lounge overlooking the red sea…hhmm…yea, I think I could deal with that for a while too;)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  11:21 AM


  • Wow, saw a link to this on Lonely Planet and have been hooked all day! (Not a good thing as I am actually at work…) Inspiring stuff, keep it up.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  06:00 PM


  • Erik ? as per your request (ugh, so corporate America), I am breaking my silence?.

    hello all Blog Hogs, i?ve been a SBR for the past 2 months or so.  i got wind of this blog from a friend of a friend of a friend - friendster anyone? 

    in answer to some of your question(s):
    favorite color (i know this is so many entries behind, but i was a bit shy and didn’t want to quite post just yet):  all shades of blue.

    this blog’s question: yes, you have opened my eyes to so many places in the world i’ve either never heard of or never even thought about visiting (thank you television for all the fabricated advertising / news / updates / etc).  i haven’t planned anything yet b/c i am stuck in corporate america and have limited vacation days.  plus, i don’t think i’m gutsy enough to actually do a trip around the world.  top places that i have added to my “must see” list b/c of your blog are:  buenos aires, salt flats, zanzibar, egypt.  i would love to see other places, but i need to do things one a time b/c of work.  i’m thinking that by the time i’m 40 - i’ll hit at least a quarter of the places you’ve been to ? if I?m lucky! hahaha…

    seriously, you truly are an inspiration and all of your hard work in keeping up with this blog with stories of all of your “(mis)adventures” are greatly appreciated. everyday that i’ve been reading, i really have been learning something new - from places i’ve never heard of, to history lessons, to how to handle scams and went to go on a guided tour vs. not, etc. i?m even thinking of starting to scuba dive now?i can’t even begin to imagine how rough it is on you w/having to do all your traveling and writing it all up for all of us here stuck in our cubicles so that we can live vicariously through you…i can’t even finish my photo journal from my philippines trip in april and that was only 3 weeks!

    i’ll keep you posted on my abs/cbn contact.  hopefully they’ve gotten a chance to check this out
    already…keep your fingers crossed. 

    Blog Hogs - you guys are hilarious!!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  07:11 PM


  • TOM (TWH):  Hey… I think I might be in Valencia on Tuesday… what?s the name of your hotel in Pamplona?  Is it possible for me and my friend to leave our bags in your room if we can’t find a place ourselves?  (Most likely we’ll be camping out in the park where all the stragglers stay.)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  11:24 PM


  • NEIL:  Thanks for the kudos…  pass the word along!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  11:26 PM


  • NAT:  Welcome aboard!  Glad you enjoy and have something to read when you’re bored at work!  Pass the word along!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  11:28 PM


  • STEPHANIE:  Thanks for breaking the silence!  Glad you’re still reading.  If you can hook up that ABS/CBN interview, that would be PERFECT!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  11:30 PM


  • ALL:  Thanks for your replies!  Anyone else there with a response to the QUESTION?  It’s semi-important… I’ll explain later…

    Right now I’m in Barcelona, a little buzzed…  Stay tuned for more entries… I know I’m behind, but it’s sort of been non-stop activity for the past couple of days with no real time to write the blog…  don’t fret, it will be posted as it become available!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  11:34 PM


  • AARON:  Not sure if you’ve posted before, but if not, welcome!

    HARRY:  Glad you’re still keeping up!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  11:36 PM


  • The blog has given me some good ideas.  Africa, especially.  It’s definitely moved up way higher on my “must go to” list.  I’ve gotten ideas on HOW you travel - how you meet people, the attitude you have to adopt when you are on the move - like having a positive and open outlook on things.  Dealing with long bus rides, having transportation break down, etc.  The best example I can think of was somewhere in South America when your boat wouldn’t leave for over a day - the Amazon, I think.  The cook was hitting on you, etc - it turned into a funny story.  If it were me, I might have wanted to throw a temper tantrum but when I read it, it was just funny.  When you go off the beaten path you have to take things in stride.  That’s something I’m learning as I travel more.  To be more laid back when things don’t go as planned!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/01  at  11:39 PM


  • ERIK: Plenty of travel ideas have come up as a result of the Blog. And if those ideas never come to fruition, i and everyone else can live vicariously through you and the show (re-runs and new). we be jammin.

    Barcelona = beeyo

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/02  at  12:24 AM


  • Great story man. Reminds me of hearing loads and loads of Reggae music while in the South Pacific!

    Word Life.

    Moman!!

    Posted by Moman  on  07/02  at  02:59 AM


  • Good Ish bro..I enjoy reading your daily blogs each day at work..hoping one day to venture out and see the world…Ingat lang (be safe)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/02  at  03:15 AM


  • yo BH’s - we’re “hilarious” !!! rock on!!

    thanks, STEPHANIE…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/02  at  05:47 AM


  • I too am an SBR! You’ve definately planted some ideas in my head for future adventures that’s for sure. While guidebooks are helpful, it’s sure nice to hear (read) things firsthand. You’ve done some great PR for a lot of places, Erik! I’ll be in Europe in the coming months and have now added Egypt and Morocco to my itinerary. Move over Rick Steves, we’ve got Erik Trinidad. Thanks a bunch!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/02  at  11:05 AM


  • Erik! Estoy feliz de que tu viaje ha sido extraordinario.  I really hope you can come to Mexico to visit me, take care.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/02  at  08:51 PM


  • ALYSHA / DONDINO:  Thanks for breaking the silence… pass the word along!

    Any other SBRs out there?  Any more responses to the QUESTION?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/02  at  09:19 PM


  • ANEL:  Estoy feliz que estas leyendo todavia!  Mexico?  Es possible…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/02  at  09:21 PM


  • KITSCHY WOOLEN HATS photo now works…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/02  at  09:40 PM


  • WoW!! I’m gone for 2 days and the whole Internet speaks up!

    Erik: I HAVE to see the salt flats and go sand boarding! And, as I’m reading your Morrocan entries, I’ve definatly added the country to my MITS List (MIST = Must Indepentant Travel Soon)!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/03  at  02:48 AM


  • Sorry it took so long for me to catch up. So many SBRs finally speak out—this is awesome!

    You’ve clinched Egypt for me, DEFINITELY. I’d love to catch a couple of days on the pillows at the Red Sea—that place was a total surprise. Zanzibar sounds cool, but with the corporate vacation thing, not so easy to work in. Otherwise, the Galapagos—can’t get enough of land iguanas, sea lions and blue-footed boobies!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/06  at  01:11 AM


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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today, RickSteves.com, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.


Next entry:
Funky Old Medina

Previous entry:
Laid Back In My Galabiyya




THE GLOBAL TRIP GLOSSARY

Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.




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