September 17th 2010
On the bus to Algeciras, the port city where I would take a ferry to Tangier, I sat beside a Japanese girl named Yumi. Before anyone says anything, she wasn’t my type. She has been traveling around the world for 6 months so we had that in common (4 months for me). She was friendly and going the same direction so we teamed up for Tangier. In my mind, I didn’t want to go beyond Tangier with anyone. She probably didn’t either, judging from the conversation we had on how long we each planned to stay in Tangier and where we would be going next and for how long. It’s as if we were scouting and picking each other for information so we could plan on not running into each other after Tangier. It’s not that we hated each other; it’s just that I’m sure we both enjoyed our freedoms as a solo traveler. If I’ve never mentioned this before, I much prefer to travel solo. If I travel with someone, I have to compromise and think of the other person. Yeah, selfish, I know. But I’m not traveling with good friends or family, I’m traveling with total strangers, so that contributes to my discomfort traveling with others. It would be different in the other cases.
Getting on the ferry was simple enough; buy a ticket from one the many counters, get past a passport check point, wait, get on ferry, fill up a customs form, get off ferry, wait for free shuttle to Tangier city, get on bus and arrive.
That evening, we were walking around and saw a street food truck that had many locals surrounding it. We checked it out and everyone was eating escargots (small snails) in broth. So, we shared a bowl. They gave us toothpicks to pick out the escargot from their shells, and they were so tasty. The broth was spicy but delicious. I think this was my first time having escargots so it was a good experience.
We found a place selling tagine and couscous so we sat down and feasted. It was 9 pm. I only had a very light breakfast earlier in the day and Yumi had only had a snack bar so we were starving. Needless to say, our stomachs made us over-order. I had one chicken tagine and one chicken couscous while she had the same. We shared a plate of salad and we both had mint tea, a Moroccan favorite, which was downright fantastic. Hot, minty, and sweet would be how I would describe it. The tagine and couscous was fantastic as well and I just managed to finish mine but Yumi couldn’t get through half her couscous and we had a good laugh about how we were pigs.