All posts by Mir Khalid Ali

O

Ourika!

Khalid II, Mohsin, and another one of Faical's friends, Redouane, met us at the apartment this afternoon to go to a nearby mountain river called Ourika, which turns out to be Moroccan for Eureka.  Faical, his brother Anas, and I took a bus with them to a taxi depot near Jama al-Fna. The area teemed ...

A

An Unusual Homecoming

It seems strange as I write about it that I am here in Morocco at the urging of a guy I barely know. We met on a train in France and spoke for no more than thirty minutes (see Next Stop: Basel). Now I am staying with his family and hanging out with him in ...

F

From Madrid to Marrakesh

On the EZ Jet flight to Morocco, I understood how the low-cost carrier makes ends meet. The crew members work as a sales team, advertising and selling a mass of products to their captive audience. Every few minutes a crew member announces over the loudspeaker yet another item for sale, rousing anyone who's managed to ...

R

Return to Madrid

I set out this afternoon for one last jaunt around Valencia.  I stopped by the Central Market and had Paella at a nearby restaurant before heading to Hollywood Grill to see Naty.  Then I picked up my luggage and headed to the main train station.  There I caught a late afternoon train to Madrid. Back ...

C

City of Arts and Sciences

The motorists in Valencia, especially those on scooters and motorcycles, are a crazy sort. They don't stop at red lights. They squeeze between cars into the tightest of spaces. They cut across sidewalks. At first I was intimidated by their recklessness. By the end of the night, however, I became one of them. I cut ...

L

Lost in Valencia

I moved out of the Purple Nest Hostel yesterday and am now crashing at Naty's apartment. One of her roommates is out of town so she has a spare bedroom, which she graciously offered to me for the sake of reducing my lodging expenses. She herself is a veteran backpacker, and she understands that every ...

A

A Series of Misfortunate Events

I think everyone has an internal "panic button," which when pressed sets us into a frenzy.  It helps us vent our angst when faced with tough situations, but on the whole, it just causes a lot of needless anxiety and stress.  After learning that my debit card was lost, I felt myself reaching for that panic ...

T

Train to Valencia

A day train through Spain is alone worth the trip to Europe.  A mosaic of brown, green, red, and yellow lands sweeps past.  Trees (olive?) stand in neat rows.  The gray and brown outlines of mountains loom in the distance.  A lone house stands in the center of a vast field.  Suddenly a town appears, ...

P

Piece of Cake

My first attempt to get a train reservation to Valencia earlier today failed because I had forgotten to take my Eurorail Pass and passport with me.  Unlike in France, in Spain the railway system requires reservations, and if you have a Eurorail Pass, you have to show it.  So I returned to the hostel emptyhanded and tried to figure out my travel ...

T

The Bullfight

Sweat flowed freely down my bare torso.  I felt a bit strange being the only person not wearing a shirt, but the desire to stay cool won over the embarrassment.  The sun hung low in the west, blazing right in my face.  This is what they meant by sol seats.  Directly in the sun.  I had seen ...