Monthly Archives: May 2008

More Melilla

I am back in Tangier now and rounding out my last few days on this trip. I will back in Canada on Wednesday, if all goes well. I am looking forward to getting home, more so than on any of my other travels. I miss my wife, my friends, my family and the easy conversations. […]

Thinking about walls

My walls project is in its early stages, to be sure, but I´ve been musing a little lately about what all of it means. What do these various walls have in common? What do they tell us? At first I was thinking that these walls are simply expressions of fear, but I think that might […]

Border stories: Melilla

I wandered around Melilla during siesta the other day. I drank espresso and brandy in a cafe near the art deco synagogue, then found a tapas bar behind the old bull-ring. The bartender poured me a short draft beer and cut me a few slices of salty serrano ham. In the old city, at the […]

Border Stories: Ceuta

I’ve spent the last week or so in and around Ceuta, one of Spain’s two autonomous enclaves in North Africa. Ceuta’s border is also Europe’s most southern frontier. As such, it is a major destination for migrants from Africa and Asia. If they can get into Ceuta, they are in Europe without risking a deadly […]

May 05

Reconsidering Tangier

Tangier’s reputation intimidated me. The seedy and licentious city the Beats tumbled through in the ’50s had long since become a place travelers were urged to avoid. I read about the muggers and the pickpockets and the dangers of the medina. I was ready to find the worst of Morocco. I came to write a […]

The South, under Surveillance

I am being followed. At least I was. I found out when I was sitting in a small cafe in Tarfaya eating grilled sardines. Sadat, the man who I came to Tarfaya to meet, came up to my table. “I got three phone calls today about you,” he said. “You are the centre of attention. […]