Arriving in Meknes I met a guy from Toronto called Brad who turns out to be quite good value. His best story is that he was on a train near Fez a couple of days earlier that wiped out a truck that had stalled on the tracks. He said there were bodies all over the place and it was 45 minutes before the first ambulance was heard. I though that shit only happened in the movies.
Having a look around town we end up in a packed ‘sports café’ watching Morocco play Senegal to qualify for the 2002 football World Cup in Korea. Morocco only needed to draw to earn the elusive qualifying place so the atmosphere was tense but confident. Watching football here is totally different to watching it in England. The major difference is that the people in Meknes were wired on caffeine instead of being sloshed on beer. Just after kick-off one of the locals asked us if we are supporting Morocco to which we replied, “Of course we are!” We both wanted to live to see the end of the day after all. In the end it didn’t turn out to be that dangerous as one mouthy Moroccan twat bagged Morocco continuously for being shite and got nothing more than a few dodgy looks.
At half time the guy in front of us offered us a mouthful of a clear liquid that he had been slowly sipping. His look suggested that we are about try something that would give him great amusement at our expense. A quick sniff and a sip later revealed that he was drinking something like what ouzo might be like if it were much much weaker. Clearly what passes for hard drinking in Morocco is a little bit different to the rest of the world.
In the end shitty passing and a lot of wasted opportunities cost Morocco the game one nil and everyone stalked out in a huff.