Posts Tagged ‘Secret Police’

Greetings Wanderer,

This Brisbane bloke to my left and I have been sitting here admiring your disembarking of the train into this wilderness of Marrakesh. These nos-nos coffees may twerk our alertness, but nothing could perk our spirits as much as your grand entrance: baggage in the throes of mutiny, father already pickpocketed, step-sister having bled all over the seats now in search of toilette and nephews stolen away and sold into slavery at an Algerian anchovy cannery. Magnifique! Bienvenue a Maroc!

Following Digger McKenzie into Marrakesh train station

Following Digger McKenzie into Marrakesh train station

While here, I recommend endearing yourself to the heat. There is no sense in fighting the inevitable – your hotel room ceiling fans can only account for so much conditioning of the air. Take this Aussie bloke to my left – he is used to sweating for twenty hours a day and for the other four he drinks. He often drinks with me as I adopted the same lifestyle years ago living in the former Spanish colony of La Florida. As for finding booze in a mostly dry country, this is a topic for another time…

In Morocco, you are lucky enough to encounter a local who speaks Napoleonic French, let alone the Queen’s English. Even Arabic speakers may be hard to find the further into the Atlas Mountains you wander. To prepare the wayward traveler, I have compiled a short compendium of relevant words and phrases:

Arabic Common Words Heard in the Streets of Morocco

Nos-Nos – “Half-half” relating to the proportion of coffee to cream

The Baroness, having survived her interrogation by the Moroccan secret police, walked up to me in the hotel restaurant, grabbed my cup of nos-nos and dumped its contents into my already humid lap.

Bisaha – Cheers

“Prost!” Conrad lifted his glass of smuggled schnapps and swallowed it down, unaware of the laxative bubbling away within. “Bisaha!” I toasted back with my Casablanca Lager.

Inshallah – God Willing

I’ve got to see a man about a mule, Inshallah. Tonight I will sleep, Inshallah.

Y’allah, Y’allah – Hurry up, let’s go

To the roof! Y’allah! Y’allah! The secret police are downstairs.

Balek – Get out of the way, spoken by muleteers as they prod their beasts of burden through the Medina.

Balek! Balek! Unless you want to meet the business end of a mule, Balek!

Bahr Adulumat – “Sea of Darkness”, the Atlantic Ocean

Do you know what they do with Kaffirine like you? They tie you into sacks and drown you in Bahr Adulumat like dogs.

Caravanserai – lodging place on the outskirts of town where travelling merchants hold business.

There isn’t a decent drop of whiskey to be found in the city. Try going out to the Caravanserai where, for a price, you can find anything; except, maybe, incest as your kin are notoriously slippery.

Kaffirine – heathen or savage, often pale skinned and drowned in a sack in the Bahr Adulumat.

Not all Kaffirine are Nazarene, but all Nazarene are Kaffirine.

Nazarene – Follower of Jesus of Nazareth; Christians in specific, white folk in general.

You can claim atheism, but until you adopt the Five Pillars of Islam and discover your parents are Moroccan, you will always be Nazarene.


Now for some Francais… (courtesy of Ghislain, a notorious rake living in Portland, Oregon)

– Hello = Bonjour
– Thank you = Merci
– Sorry = Pardon
– Restrooms = Toilettes
– That’s a nice camel you have here = Votre chameau est magnifique !
– Where is the …? = Où est le/la … ?
– How are you doing? = Comment ça va ?
– What time is it? = Quelle heure est-il ?
– How much does this cost? = Combien ça coûte ?
– I would like to marry your daughter = J’aimerais épouser votre fille

Neverman of Marrakesh

Neverman of Marrakesh

Some further Francais courtesy of the InterWeb translation machines

Let them eat cake

Qu’ils mangent de la brioche

Bring me more beer and whiskey, please

Apportez-moi plus de biere et de whisky s’il vous plait

How to make the camel stop?

Comment faire cesser un chameau?

Where can I urinate if there are no bushes in the desert?

Ou puis-je uriner si il n’u a pas de buissons dan le desert?

Show me to your dancing girls

Montrez-moi a vos filles de danse

I come in peace. Take me to your leader.

Je viens en paix prendre moi a votre chef

The American Embassy will pay you much for my release.

L’ambassade americaine va vous payer beaucoup pour ma liberation

I didn’t know she was your (sister, wife, mother, daughter)

Je ne savais pas qu’elle etait votre (soeur, femme, mere, fille)

Is there (a cell phone, an ATM, electricity) in your village?

Y at-il (un telephone portable, distributeur de billets, del’electricite) dans votre village.

Can you look at this rash? Is it normal?

Pouvez-vous regarder cette eruption? Est-ce normal?

Yes. Now that I think of it, your religion is superior. Where may I apply?

Oui. Je comprends maintenant votre religion est superieure. Ou puis-je postuler?

No really, I am Canadian.

Non, vraiment, je suis Canadien

No really, I am a Turk.

Non, vraiment, je suis un Turc

Is there anything on the menu without sand in it?

Y at-il quoi que ce soit sur le menu sans sable en elle?

Please, no mayonnaise.

S’il vous plait pas de mayonnaise

How far to the nearest shade?

A quelle distance a l’ombre le plus proche

No thank you. The price is too high.

Non merci le prix est trop eleve

Of course, all of us Canadians hate the French too.

Biens sur, nous tous, les Canadiens detestent les Francais trop