Prasad Postma

NO DIARRHEA

DAY 1

Despite her title and the fact that I didn’t use toothpaste for 3 days this won’t be a dirty story about my recent trip to Marrakech. I had way too much fun for that.

This story also won’t have any links with my almost ending time as an employee of energy company Vandebron, even though excessively sharp readers might assume otherwise.

Despite the upcoming fun, my miniature vacation started off quite harsh. The on-off aspect of my relationship with beautiful Laura had found its way into our reservations and right before the cabin crew’s silly looking safety instructions I knew for sure that she wasn’t going to show up after all.

When I checked my bank account I found out that smart Laura actually paid €350,- to not see me for a while. I know that this (and everything I write) probably says a lot more about me than her (or that cabin crew), but all I allowed myself to think about was the Moroccan toothpaste I was reluctant to buy.

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3.5 hours and 41 fought of tears after leaving grey and chilly Amsterdam, known by Moroccans as the capital of Kijke, kijke nie koop* I arrived at Marrakech. After passing security and a herd of violent taxi drivers I made it to the shuttlebus that would take me to my hotel.

* Looking, looking, but never buying.

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Being a lazy a-cultural bastard I’d chosen an all-in 5-star resort with free transport from and to the city, 3 pools, a pond with water bikes, a table tennis table, an outside chessboard, a soccer pitch, two beamer screens bigger than my bedroom, in- and outdoor fitness facilities and a personal slave who carried my luggage and opened my curtains after riding me to my spacious cabin in a golf cart.

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Having lived like a bum for quite a while I was surprisingly apt at acting like the Maharaja of Marrakech. I didn’t blink  when the receptionist told me about the 3 extra ‘A la Carte restaurants’, nor did I let my jaw drop after seeing the 70+ dishes and desserts of the buffet I’d already paid for. I was going to gulch it all in, taste everything, sprinkle smiles and tips like a king, wearing my sunglasses at night…

THE SOUKS

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After a cold and lonely semi sleep, I didn’t find out my marvellous mattress had electric heating until the last night, and a shuttlebus ride with a couple who desperately tried to explain to the driver how important it was to get the right parts of the ribs if you wanted to be an honest All You Can Eat Restaurant, I arrived at the Souks, the vast and partly covered Berber market know to Dutch travellers as the tourist trap centre of the world.

A videocall with a dear friend got me over my self-pity and ready to take on the day. I didn’t go to buy anything but toothpaste, but I knew I had to go. Something cool would happen while I did. Something cool always happens when looking for toothpaste in Marrakech.

VALENTINO ALI

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Halfway through the narrow alleyways of the souks I met the boy who single handedly took my holiday, as well as this story, into overdrive.

I remember his name, I remember that his uncle’s food wouldn’t give me stomach trouble and that, according to him, the hat I did finally buy, made me look like a regular Berber*.

* with a meticulously kept goatee and a €170 rucksack.

Next thing I knew I was racing through the same narrow alleyways, I’d just passed in crawling tempo, on the back of his 150 cc motor, decimating my life expectancy while chasing away tourists, chickens and the occasional cripple.

Luckily Ali assured me that in Marrakech you only needed a helmet to save you from tickets, that nobody had ever died from falling off a bike and that he was the best racer of the Maghreb. When I told him I didn’t care, that I just wanted to take my head of mystical Laura, he knew exactly what to do.

33 death defying minutes later (he’d sworn he’d make it in under 20) we pulled up to his house in a Berber village about 8 km from Marrakech centre. There Ali changed into his finest Moroccan cool-guy-outfit with matching fake Nikes and asked me if I was ready.

“I am ready for whatever plan you have” I said. “But are you sure we’re the boyband the Mar’rakshis have been waiting for?” Ali didn’t understand what I said, nor did he need to. All he needed to do, was get me to a bar to meet beautiful women and make me pay for them, or at least for the beers he needed to drink in order to forget the fact that he lived in a neighbourhood even his shoes would be ashamed of, if they could.

SHORT AND GOOD

I could tell you all about our night, the obscure bars Ali dragged me to or how he became more and more aggressive towards anyone who seemed less powerful than him, being mainly woman, street bums and cats.

I could tell you about the cops I paid off for him and how he suddenly had money again after I did. I could tell you about the number of beers he drank after he’d promised to drive me back to my hotel for free and how he tried to comfort me by saying: “Everyone here drink.” while pointing to a crowded crossroad.

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I could tell you about his favourite bike, the Kawasaki Z1000 and how my pupils widened when he told me he liked it best in red. I could tell you what the hairs in my neck did when a screw fell out of his one working brake while driving on the highway, or how he then turned to me with a smile, saying: “No worry. I brake with clutch now.”

I could tell you how it took us 10 minutes to put the chain back on his rear wheel, or about the frostbite in my knees when he finally got me back to my mattress. I could tell you about his deaththreats and even more scary laughs after I paid him less then he’d expected. Or how it took me another 10 minutes to explain to him that what he suddenly asked for had nothing to do with friendship, while he kept yelling: “What friend only give 200 Dirham*? This is nothing!”

* 20 Dollars

DAY 3

My last 32 hours were spend in the comfort of my temporary castle. I chilled by the pools and the pond, climbed the fitness facility to get a better view, picked overripe mandarins and fresh olives and even made friends with a white heron.

I overheard that meat loving couple from the bus, while laying at the pool. They kept running from and to the toilets, wining about their stomach problems and how they shouldn’t have believed that vendor when he said: “No diarrhea, nooooo diarhea.”

I started writing and probably had enough time to find some toothpaste, to elaborate on what I actually thought about Vandebron not extending my contract, or the ugly aspects of a holiday in Marrakech, I saw more than enough (lack off- and) inequality, fat tourists and fake friendships, but I had way too much fun for all of that ;)

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