kristerr
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    • kristerr

      I went to Morocco to visit my girlfriend-at-the-time. She sagely advised me to drink only bottled water during the trip, and for the first few days that was easy. Then we got street food and I had a Tang and the next day things started going downhill. I woke up feeling off and showered. Then we hopped in a cab to visit the Roman ruins at Chellah in Rabat.
      That’s when it started getting real: riding across Rabat in the back of a blue VW Rabbit. Every time the driver jammed on the accelerator, every time he slammed on the brake, every time he swerved between lanes or jackknifed around a corner my stomach burbled and my face flushed.
      I lowered the window. Fresh air save me.
      It did.
      For a time.
      We pull up at the gate and I inform my ladyfriend that this is happening. It is on. I need a bathroom. And I said this fully accepting that in many cases in Morocco “bathroom” actually just means “hole.” That would’ve been totally OK.
      “I’m sorry,” she said to me, “This is Morocco. I don’t think there’s anything like that here.”
      I kind of squint-cried. Like the Jordan meme, you know? But out of some combination of longing for Western conveniences and resolution to not let this ruin the excursion.
      I vow to soldier on. I can fight it. I can hold in the rushing waters of foreign bacteria.
      And I do.
      For about two minutes.
      You can not, it turns out, stop an ebbing tide. And in this case the metaphor of an ebbing tide means a full gallon of liquid regret.
      The ruins in this city are, blessedly, pretty overgrown with trees and bushes. I don’t remember what I said at this point, I’m not sure my brain was in control. At this point the expeditionary forces in my bowels have the battering ram slamming into the gates of my rectum and I just darted into this little forested area and unleashed a torrent onto this historic site.
      Chellah, it should be noted, was first built up by the Phoenicians around 40 AD.
      And I pooped on it.
      And wiped with some leaves nearby.
      And as I exited that private little patch, I found that my ladyfriend had run into one of her ex-pat friends. Another American. Very pleasant and very understanding, it turns out, of what I had been through.
      Hell of a way to meet someone.

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