Time Well Waisted : The prequel - It's not easy being a freak.

in #hash6 months ago


This is the continuing tale of a group of Hippies travelling through Europe and North Africa in the 1970's. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Previous Episodes:

Time Well Waisted : Buying my dream van from Oobahly Kanoope

Time Well Waisted : Loosing Wico and finding Sue

Time Well Waisted : The prequel - It's not easy being a freak.

In this time of the Corona Virus, most people of the world are in lock down. They do not have jobs to go to. They are not being directed what to do with their day other than the directives from the Health Authorities about hand washing and social distancing. They must fill their time in their day using their own initiatives. Thinking of this situation took me back in my thoughts to a by gone winter in the early 70's and the insights of Gus the Hippie.

It was the autumn of 1973, only a short week away from when one could withdraw from my first year university courses and still get my tuition fees refunded. Overtaken by wonderlust the decision was made to cash in my academic chips in return for a one year open airline ticket to Europe for a whopping $187. My travelling funds were a little less than double that. Finding the warmest and cheapest location to bed down for winter was my top priority.

After landing in London and shaking the jet lag out of my hitchin' a ride thumb, with winter on my heels, my travels led me south as straight as a crow could fly while trying to cling to the remaining heat of Europe's late autumn. It was not long before my travels found me sleeping near the border post between Ceuta and Morocco. An Oil Crisis was under way and westerners where not welcome in the Moroccan Kingdom.

Persistence paid off. After successive attempts at entry the custom's agents must have realized that they were dealing with a hippie who had left his politics at home. Finally, with the pounding of their entry stamp striking hard against my passport, the permission was given to enter their lands. With a call of peace, in the name of their God, they opened Morocco and its lovely dirty blonde hash to me.

Morocco seemed to keep that crazy world outside its borders. That world where oil prices mattered. Where Asia would fall to communism, like dominoes, if Vietnam fell. Where The Man would crush you if they found you holding a certain herb. Morocco was a time machine. Walking about the walled city of Fez was a walk through the past.


City of Fez


My forced southern march seemed to have worked into my muscle memory. Even after being granted entry into the Kingdom my journey continued southward at a fairly rapid pace. After a quick tour of the fabled walled city of Fez and a quick stop in Marrakesh and the marvels of its famous square, it was finally only the threat of the desolate sands of the Sahara which brought me to a halt in the sleepy fishing town of Essaouira.


Marrakesh's Square


The term town is used loosely. It may have been incorporated as a city, yet at least at that time it had the feeling of a town about it. The police force consistent of a hand full of officers. The Chief was introduced to me by a hippie chick who dated him. She also introduced me to Carlos who ended up being my landlord while in Essaouira.




Carlos had been in the Guardia Civil. It is the para-military police of Spain, a remnant from Spain's facist past during the reign of their dictator, Francisco Franco. Carlos was connected. He was the one who introduced Essaouira's Police Chief to his hippie girlfriend. He rented rooms in his three story home off Essaouira's medina. It was my luck to find one available one day when visiting a friend who lived there.


Example of Traditional Arab Homes


Carlos' main passion was to get as much of Morocco's wonderful blonde hash as he could to all those peace loving drug smoking hippies of the western world. He would help out in any way he could. He would procure the hash for you. He would package the hash for you in all kinds of inventive ways, from beautifully carved chess boards to the covers of hard bound books. If you did not already have an idea of how to get it home, Carlos would suggest one. If you had never thought of sending hash home Carlos would suggest it. He was a man on a mission, doing his part to keep the counter culture ticking.

Gus and his girlfriend had a room at Carlos' place as well. Gus' goal, for that year, was to make it to Afganistan for his birthday and buy a kilo of hash which was going for about $200 at the time. His plan was to light it on fire in his pup tent and get, possibily, higher than any hippie had been at that time without the aid of LSD.

It became a daily ritual for a group of us from the house to make our way to the beach towards sunset to have our end of the day spliff. It was on one such excursion that Gus first floated his theory. He contended that not everyone could sit on a beach for hours in their day, nor know how to pass their time through music or poetry writing when not on the beach. He figured that the average straight could not handle it. They would go bonkers not knowing what to do with themselves. His contention was that it's not easy being a freak.

It seemed amusing at the time and it became a household catch phrase when in Essaouira, yet in this age of locked down cabin fever and social distancing Gus' words ring truer than ever. It's not easy being a freak.



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Sweet. Thanks Dude! Hopin to develop the Time Well Wasted series more.

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All of this from the stamped entry into the Kingdom of Morocco in a time where westerners weren't allowed entry - making you a rare exemption to the rule - and the relation to today and the "cabin fever" most people of western world are feeling is resonating deeply with me. As I am a fan of your work it can be assumed you and I are alike in ways. I am too from North America but I see the beauty in other worlds the average straight would not because I left politics some time ago. After disassociating from western politics and judging people for who they are as individuals (while not judging them for their faults because we all have faults - but learning to accept them for their strengths) - my life has dramatically changed in what I enjoy when people are lost without the direction of The Man... The Man doesn't run my life. Politics don't incite any feelings or emotions in me. My opinions are my own. My willing to accept other people despite cultures and backgrounds is in the 1%. And as for not panicking come time where the man puts one on lockdown where its up to them to figure out what they enjoy doing with their time - well, I am far from lost. I'm about three years on this part of the journey, so I keep pouring my heart and soul into researching the importance of common interests between all cultures, whether by faith or customs - despite political backgrounds and allegiances. It's helped me uncover places like Ceuta. It's helped me discover places on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar where different religions also have commonalities in shared territories once ruled in the past - to havens like Essaouira where you find a Carlos that has connections to both worlds within the Moroccan Kingdom and with westerners for a way to continue the "counterculture" ticking as you said - against the one-sided and globalized opinions westerners share about territories they know nothing about. Only within can we discover the beauty and things we appreciate about other nations and the cultures and values they hold within. To a lesser extant - I started to learn of Canada from within Canada when I first started spending summers there playing baseball. I carried that with me home and in the course of five years since I have adopted a viewpoint where USA is only as strong as its relationships with its neighboring countries. Call me a loyalist to the Queen, because she's a great example of my "Scipio Africanus respecting Hannibal" type respect I have for constitutional monarchs and how they are a spiritual guide to the people. The USA lacks that in any of its leaders. Trump is a glaring example of what our nation lacks by not having Elizabeth II as our monarch and spiritual leader (governess of the Church of England within the UK, but as a non-institutional example of spiritual leadership - her wise selection of words and inspiring addresses to the public are all based in good values and that resonates with her people - whereas Trumps bashing and fingerpointing at other cultures leads to a bad national response in our citizenry towards Asians and other populations that get generalized within Trump's words)... I think you get what I'm trying to say. I must be a hippie - despite not using drugs - I have no problems with their use and I have recreation-ally smoked in the past. Personally I prefer edibles. :)

Thank you for sharing this at this time in history. Helps me know I'm on the right path. I'm not a straight by any means and I'm proud of it!

P.S. Thanks for reminding me of the movie "Blow" with the connected Carlos character and the ideas to get that blonde hash home to the jurisdiction of "The Man" :)

So glad you enjoyed the read. Rest assured that being a Freak goes above and beyond drug use in my books. In that regard you wear the title with flying colours in my opinion. Please take that as an intended compliment.

Funny you should mention the Queen. Although my politics may be termed that of an anarchist there is still a strange affection of mine for the old Gal. You may have nailed the reasons for it. It had never made much sense to me before now and was a guarded little secret. 🤓


"But the governor, reflecting something inherent in his nature, has always gravitated to people with whom he disagrees."

You're a genius friend.

I haven't even begun to digest this piece and you hit me with "Ceuta" an area I have studied beyond Henry the Navigator back to the Treaty of Windsor (1386) in an Anglo-Portuguese Alliance still in effect to this day. Amazing. You are definitely a prophet of the important things in life :) keep sharing! and thank you.

Wow, thanks for sharing that one. It surprised me how rich that history is; stretching so far back into the distant past!

You're far wiser than me. But you reveal to me that the world works in mysterious ways and putting politics aside - you can enter worlds and see things through the eyes of other cultures that you never dreamed possible through the view of your own biased-nationalist views you collectively adopted from any one western nation. I think we've been on the path back to fixing everyone's eyesight for a long time. In ways that hit home for me, Schwarzenegger being written in to the same referendum to recall the Governor of California in 2003 was something necessary that relates to the first Mayor Daley (Richard J. Daley) being written in as a Republican on the ballot when a deceased Republican on the ticket opened up the race for a lifelong Democrat to win his first political office in the Illinois lower house of the Illinois General Assembly. Daily was a club organized and first a member of a local, Democrat Party funded health club... When Schwarzenegger was a teenage he had to join the conservative Austrian People's Party to be a member of the local gym they funded as a "welfare state" in the post World War II era. Thus he was a nominal Republican since that day. Probably why he didn't have to join the state's "GOP" before being written in on the recall referendum.

Loopholes and opportunity. But the picture of being a naturalized or native American is definitely becoming clearer. As is the validity of terminology in treaty, convention or annexation,cessation into International Law that works for everyone. Long story short, you're a great writer and one I admire. Keep doing the great work. If it seems like you aren't getting attention for your effort - you at least have mine. I believe in what truth you relay to the public.

Thank you, @satoshi0x, for the wonderful compliment!

Just letting you know you reach people in the way your writing is intended to. Keep it up!

Yep, there is a lot of material in that 4 years of drug induced travelling. 😎

I like that you put politics aside to appreciate other cultures and subcultures within what I call "labelled nations" by the West.

For as limited and different the obstacles of my life have been from the norm of society. I am at peace and have learned much from my struggles. I accept them, I accept my fault and grow from them. And I truly believe I am lucky for being so isolated and restricted. I know I have a guardian watching over me. And I may not know exactly who they are - but the more I see the more I know its good to grow from persistent search for the truth. In that search I've really learned how to treat and accept all people. Not that I didn't before, but I hope one day other's learn that appreciation for people's differences.

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