This story begins here. Thank you.
I was greatly annoyed by his wicked suggestion. In 1988, I had asked Abid to give Zohra whatever she asked but his Yeerk was too smart to yield to his wife.
My flight landed at Muhammad V Airport, Casablanca at 12 noon. I had not slept the night before so I went to sleep and woke up at 7pm.
I went out, took half an hour walk then returned back, crossed the street and stood beside a light pole to enjoy the magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean opposite my Hotel Azure.
Two young men approached me and offered me a drink.
They were tourist guides.
I told them I was looking for a girl to marry.
Mustafa moved quick. He moved too quick, in fact. He took us to an apartment and the landlady agreed to rent us a room for Dh200.
Mustafa then went out to fetch a girl. He returned after 2 hours without success. He was frustrated for failing to find a single girl that night.
I don’t know which part of “marry” he failed to understand.
He asked the landlady to return the money but she refused and I let her keep the money, which added to his frustration.
The other guide had been watching silently.
Mustafa then suggested to go to Khunefra next morning “where no one is allowed to sleep without a woman,” he claimed with pride (& prejudice!)
The name of the city sounded like the Urdu word “khaufnak”, which means “frightening” and I’m a superstitious guy who fears to go places with wicked names.
I asked Mustafa about that strange city and he told me it was in the desert.
I also hate deserts and the wicked bedouins.
Sensing my dislike of Khunefra, Omar then jumped in and asked me if I’d instead go to Immouzzer, a scenic town frequented by tourists on a mountain top.
That sounded more like me and I hired him.
“Mustafa’s last name should not have been ‘Khalid’. His name should be Mustafa The Quick,” I commented to mock his lack of grace & civility.
We spent some time strolling and commenting on Mustafa’s habit of imposing himself on others, his consecutive failures followed by his frustrations.
Omar found my comments amusing & witty. We laughed together as Omar also found the ways of macho men to be stupid.
He dropped me at my hotel, gave me his phone number and advised me to leave expensive hotels and move-in to live in his parents’ house next day.
That was a royal reception and I accepted it with thanks.
After I moved-in in Omar’s house, his mother came in to check me out and I bowed down my face & worshipped her.
She was so impressed with my civilized manners that she asked Omar to cancel the morning train to Fes and prepared a special meal for me.
Omar was also feeling proud to see his first client having found favor in his mother’s sight.
We arrived Fes by train at night and after some research, Omar suggested spending the night in Fes to avoid expensive hotels in tourists’ Immouzzer.
We had our breakfast at Cafe Mamia and arrived Immouzzer by noon.
A traveling estate agent told us about Farook, a school teacher who was in need of some money to treat his mother, and we hired his house for Dh200 per night.
I told Omar I was looking for a girl who was nice and homely. “She should not be a drinker nor a smoker”, I found it wise to stress that because Omar was a heavy drinker & a chain-smoker.
He brought me two girls to choose from.
The first was wearing a T-shirt and shorts and had shoulder-length hair. She looked boyish and was drinking AND smoking.
She was looking at me with lust, which frightened me.
The other was a fat, black and short girl who had no breast and had some thin facial hair near her lips but she neither drank nor smoked.
I was confused.
I kept moving my eyes between the two and at long last, I chose Hayat, the lesser “man”.
I offered to heat some water for her but she declined to take a shower. She had a strong smell but she was my first date and I wasn’t going to lose my chance to lose my virginity.
P.S. This blog post is dedicated to Romy, one of my best readers.