Saturday, August 7, 2010

Coffee, Donuts and Camels

I don't know about you but when I'm on the beach in the scorching days of summer I long for just the right beverage to quench my thirst. That deep down in the core of your being thirst. And when I feel like that I automatically think.....oh my god, I wish some young Moroccan guy was roaming the beach selling some steaming hot crappy instant nescafe coffee out of a thermos.

Well lucky me! You can score a hot cup of the worst coffee you have ever dreamed of at the beach here! It is served all day at 5 minute increments every time they walk past shouting "cafe". I don't think that the frequency of service indicates that refills are free like the waitress at Denny's, walking around constantly topping off your cup from the permanently stained coffee pot. I'm glad my thirst crisis is averted. But you know what? When I have a cup of coffee at the beach, I need a donut to go with it. Lucky you! Because trailing behind coffee guy is beniet guy. That's French for really greasy donut. Could your day at the beach get any better?

Oh could.

Some of the things you may experience on a Moroccan beach:

1. Groups of men hanging with their friends because (I assume) they don't allow their wives at the beach. Either that or this is the only place gay men can hang out in a country where it's illegal to be gay. Actually it's illegal to be gay throughout Africa, with the exception of South Africa.

2. Women (whose husbands do allow them come to the beach because they are so progressive like that) swimming in their head scarves and djellabas. I assume that they let them tag along so they can take care of the children, oh and to pack and bring the lunch (and clean up after the lunch, and change the kids diaper after lunch and order the coffee after lunch.....)

3. There are also liberated bikini baring women, however they are usually accompanied by their significant other. Protecting a woman's freedom to wear a bikini is probably best left in the hands of a man.

4. Hot shirtless young Moroccan men playing beach soccer (Dare I say that there may be a correlation between #1 and #4?)

5. People with their pet cat. What in the world do you do with a cat at the beach? Dogs love the beach, but don't cats hate water?

6. Then there's the camel. Yeah, there's a camel on the beach.

7. Young children selling candy. I'm sure my kids would rather boogie board than sell candy at the beach. Wait, do they get to eat the candy? It might depend on the day then...

8. Men who will give you free unsolicited advice so they can talk to you. What was I thinking coming to the beach in a bikini without a male chaperone to protect my right to wear it? How American of me.

9. Other creepy men who will offer to kindly take your picture on the beach. Um, no thanks. I guess they don't get the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit edition here.

10. Kids handing out pamphlets on the environment that the beach goers leave in the sand littering the beach. I don't think that was the desired result...

In my younger days pre-kids, I could often be found in a book store with a cup of coffee sitting and rummaging through books going from topic to topic for hours. Letting the book take my mind wherever it went. And stealthily sitting back watching the passersby. It's a pleasure I have missed. And while there's no Borders here, I think I just discovered the next best thing. The beach. You can bring your book, get that cup of coffee and donut and sit and observe the cultural oddities while your kids while the kids play. And just in watching you'll cover more topics than you probably would in Borders: the environment, child labor, homosexuality, male dominated societies, cats and camels.

Maybe this is even better than Borders! After all they don't have a beach. I won't drop a wad of cash on a big stack of books and I don't even have to remember to bring my reading glasses. Next time I go, I might try to be a a bit more "local" and wear a djellaba, bring the lunch, pick up after the lunch, take care of the kids, order the coffee, bring our cat and ride the camel. Although I'm pretty sure I would need a permission slip signed by my husband to ride the camel...

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