Interzone

Tangier, Morocco, 1998: After running the gauntlet of taxi-drivers, touts and scam artists at the port- I eventually found the hotel where William S. Burroughs wrote “Naked Lunch”. Tangiers wasn’t exactly a tourist destination at the time, it was still living up to it’s time honored debauched reputation.  No issue getting a room at the Hotel El Muniria, but Burrough’s room was occupied. Kerouac, Ginsberg, Bowles and other notable Beat writers also stayed there during Tangiers halcyon days… We were advised not to venture into the old Medina at night-  but we got bored.. we should have heeded the advice…

Got dragged into the old carpet sellers trick…Half an hour later, the room half a foot deep with unrolled carpets and a dozen men staring us out- there was no option but to buy ourselves out… I somehow negotiated (after calming my irate companion down) to negotiate the best (worst) price for the smallest carpet (each)… They settled for that and we escaped, only to be threatened to purchase something more smokeable or else…. a knife was pulled out to enforce their demands.  We didn’t have enough money on us to buy ourselves out of trouble, but I managed to talk them into leading us out of the Medina, to our hotel and safety where we could pay them off… Didnt get many shots whilst there as I was too busy watching my back…   This shot was taken the following day down at the beach, just before my travelling companion was unwittingly ( & un-ceremoniously) pick-pocketed in the open expanse of the beach…  Mamiya ZE

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