ARTICLES

Because Drinking Out Of The Bottle Is Gauche

Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, September 2005

In a “dry” country like Morocco, you learn how to improvise when you just have to have a glass of wine.

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ENTRIES FROM THE GLOBAL TRIP BLOG CHRONICLES

Into The Arabian West

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 18, 2004

DAY 241:  “Where are you from?” the nameless taxi driver asked me from the driver’s seat.  I was in the back row, behind my carpool companion Rosa.

“New York,” I replied.

“Ah, New York?” the jovial portly man said.  “My brother lives in New York!”  He told me that he had planned to visit his brother in the Big Apple, but when he applied for a visa at the American embassy in Cairo, he was rejected.  The embassy said he didn’t have enough bank documents to show that he could financially support himself there — even though he claimed he did.  The taxi driver thought there was a different reason.

“I have three thousand dollars American, but I think they reject me when they saw my name,” he said.  “My name is Osama.”

Talk about having the wrong name at the wrong time.

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Now in Color!

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 18, 2004

DAY 242:  Casablanca, the Moroccan oceanside city made popular by movie quotes from the 1942 Humphrey Bogart movie, has come a long way since then.  For one, it’s no longer in black and white.

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Next Train to Marrakesh

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 18, 2004

DAY 243:  If there’s anything that the French influenced on the Moroccans during its occupation in the mid-20th century other than language, it’s the idea of a fast and efficient modern railway system.  Morocco has one of the most modern train networks in Africa, linking most of the major cities via rail, with trains that actually depart and arrive on time.  The only drawback to the Moroccan railway is that you have to be at the correct train station for you to appreciate its efficiency.

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Splish, Splash, He Gave Me A Bath

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 22, 2004

DAY 244:  Most of Marrakesh’s main points of interest are within a 40-minute walk of the Place Djemaa el-Fna and without the comforts of a package tour’s air conditioned tour bus coach (complete with a guide holding up an umbrella for people to follow), I took to the streets to run errands and see the sights on foot.

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Rock The Kasbah

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 22, 2004

DAY 245:  “It’s amazing there are no French people,” Australian Lucy said.  She was referring to the fourteen people that had amassed into a small minibus tour group with the Imagine Le Voyage budget tour company based in Marrakesh.  Despite the fact that a huge majority of the tourists in Morocco were from France, we were a rainbow coalition, all English-speaking, from other nations:  Lucy and Steve from Australia, Russ from the UK, Maider and Serbio from Spain, Miguel from Portugal, Mazza from Japan, Kim from South Korea, Tina and Hendrik from Sweden, Coral and Waddah from California, USA, Canadian Sebastian and me.

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Carpets and Camels

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 24, 2004

DAY 246:  I once read a story about how persuasive Moroccan carpet salesmen can be, using not a tactic of aggressiveness, but the strategy of feigned friendliness and hospitality to guilt one into buying a genuine Moroccan rug.  That day in Morocco, I finally got to see these salesmen in action.

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Profit Mohammed

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 24, 2004

DAY 247:  The Sahara, the world’s largest desert sprawling all over northern Africa, gets extremely hot in the daytime.  (Perhaps that’s why they call it the desert, huh?)  To combat the heat, our tour was set up to avoid the hottest part of the day, by first bringing us in at sunset the day before, and leading us out at sunrise that morning.

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Animated Ascent

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 28, 2004

DAY 248:  “If there was any one song you could have in your head while riding the camels, what would it be?” Sebastian the 20-year-old Vancouverite asked me.  I drew a blank.

“I don’t know.”

Sebastian revealed the one he had in mind, a song from his childhood when he was ten and I was in college:

Prince Ali, mighty as he, Ali Ababwa…

(from Disney’s animated feature Aladdin)

This was just one of the many references to cartoons throughout the day as we hiked up Djebel Toubkal, north Africa’s highest peak at 4167m. ASL.

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Heels On The Hill

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 28, 2004

DAY 249:  One of the dangers of mountain trekking is mountain sickness, caused by the lack of sufficient oxygen to the brain in high altitudes.  Mountain sickness (or “altitude sickness”) affects different people in different ways at different levels of severity.  For example, when I climbed to the altitude of 5681m. up Mount Kilimanjaro with a Japanese guy named Kenji, the thin air caused me to vomit three times and it put Kenji into a delirious, near-vegetable state. 

The effects of mountain sickness were bound to happen again as I continued the second day of a two-day trek up to the peak of Djebel Toubkal at 4167m. ASL, this time not with a Japanese vegetable but a Canadian named Sebastian.

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High, Dry and Hassle-Free

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 30, 2004

DAY 250:  In the 1960s, Essaouira, the relaxed ocean city on the north west coast of Morocco, was a hippie haven that attracted the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, Bob Marley and their faithful long-haired disciples.  Nowadays, the hippies are gone — along with their big clouds of hash smoke — but Essaouira still retains its cool, relaxed vibe with ocean breezes and welcoming cooler temperatures than that of the cities inland.  A new generation of music goers go there now, both locals and foreigners, more so in late June when the city hosts the annual Festival d’Essaouira, a four-day music festival with international appeal.

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Laid Back In My Galabiyya

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted June 30, 2004

DAY 251:  The Let’s Go guidebook calls Essaouira “one of Morocco’s most laid-back cities.”  Compared to what we had seen in other tourist-frequented places, this was nothing further from the truth.  Essaouira’s chilled out vibe — even with shopkeepers — was just like the book claimed, even with the surge of people in town for the music festival.

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Jamming in Morocco

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted 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.

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Funky Old Medina

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted July 03, 2004

DAY 253:  Founded in the eighth century and declared a World Heritage Site in 1981, Fez is one of Morocco’s premiere imperial cities with a “bustling, colorful medina [that] epitomizes Morocco.  No visit to the country is complete without seeing it,” says Let’s Go.  With only two days left in Morocco, I supposed at least one in Fez was in order.

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Out of Africa

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted July 03, 2004

DAY 254:  “It’s the end of an era,” I told Sebastian as we rode on the last ferry from Africa into Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar.  The nighttime ferry ride was the unforeseen final leg of a mad dash from Morocco to Spain.

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ABOUT ERIK R. TRINIDAD

When he’s not making a living as an interactive/motion designer or playing with fast food, Erik R. Trinidad is a travel writer, blogger, video host and producer focusing on adventure and culinary content. His work has been featured on National Geographic Intelligent Travel, Adventure.com, Discovery.com, Saveur, Condé Nast Traveler, and Hyenas Laughed at Me and Now I Know Why, which also includes the work of Tim Cahill, Doug Lansky, Jennifer Leo and Rolf Potts. He has also referenced his travel experiences in his solo book, Fancy Fast Food: Ironic Recipes with No Bun Intended.

For over ten years, Erik has traveled to the seven continents of the world — from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo — with a curiosity for exotic foods and a thirst for adventure (and writing material).  In his travels, he has been mugged at knifepoint in Cape Town, extorted by corrupt Russian police on the Trans-Siberian Railway, stranded in tornadic storms in the American midwest, and air-lifted off the Everest Trail by a helicopter that was thankfully paid for by his travel insurance.  But it hasn’t been all fun; he has also donned a tuxedo amidst the penguins of Antarctica, paraded with Carnival-winning samba school Beija Flor in Rio, run for his life at Pamplona’s “Running of the Bulls,” cage-dived with great white sharks, gotten shot point-blank in the stomach in Colombia (while wearing a bulletproof jacket), and above all, encountered many people around the world, including some Peruvian musicians in Cuzco who learned and played “Y.M.C.A.” at his request. He loves the irony that, after everywhere he’s been, he has never been to Mexico.

Erik writes stories and news articles when he’s at his base camp in New York City, and continues his blog when he is on the road — provided he’s not occupied tracking down lost luggage.

Additional news/article clippings at ErikTrinidad.com.



See Erik talk about travel in an American Express ad:



Read about Erik in this feature article from Filipinas magazine by National Geographic Traveler Associate Editor Amy Alipio.



The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
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