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Riding into Morocco
by R L Tilley

We rode into Morocco on a bus with two Moroccan guides. Three beautiful Spanish girls were crossing the frontier, from Ceuta, with us. A Moroccan policeman boarded the bus and studied their passports in great detail. It seemed that either they intended to stay a while in Tangier or were travelling on from that city. Eventually the policeman nodded his assent and satisfaction with their papers and got off the bus.

“He just wanted to look at the girls,” my wife said.

We crossed the frontier where hundreds of Moroccans, many in jellabas, loitered around the border. Some framed against the sky atop a hill of red, Moroccan earth. Some waiting by the sea. Some just waiting.

“They are waiting for the bus to Ceuta,” one of our guides said. “It is Moharem. The first day of the Muslim New Year. The administration takes a holiday. The markets continue.”