It was 1972. They were young Canadians—young and naïve—traveling through Morocco at a time when that country was crawling with hippies looking for cheap drugs and cheap living. Supposedly, one could rent a room in a shack, eat, and smoke pot for as little as a dollar a day.
They weren’t hippies. They stayed in a hotel, hired a guide, and ignored the hippies’ scorn when they rode the horse drawn carriages. “At least we’re contributing to a family’s income by hiring this driver,” she said.
Walking the streets they heard a constant litany of:
“Journal, monsieur? Journal?”
“Non, merci,” he said.
Promptly followed by, “Hashie, Monsieur? Hashie?”
“Let’s rent a motorbike and drive around,” he said.
“Let’s not,” she said when they heard that the bike shop owner wanted them to leave their passports as security.
They hired a driver to take them out to see the country side.
“Big mistake,” she said as they careened down the three lane highway, the middle lane being used for passing—from either direction.
“We’re playing bloody chicken,” he said.
Somehow they survived to fill their army canteen with freshly squeezed orange juice for the train ride to Marrakesh where they found more hippies, snake charmers, the marvels of the market, more hippies, more offers of hashie, the dying vats, great food, and more hippies.