When I left Morocco in 1982 I went by ferry from Tangiers to Algerceris in Spain. Whilst on the ferry, I met an Englishman who I hit it off with immediately, and is often the case when one is traveling; we decided to travel onwards together.
The Englishman wasn’t the only other fellow traveller I met, and soon there was a group of us guys who spent the evening exchanging horror stories about Morocco. After talking with those guys it was obvious that most of them had gone to Morocco to smoke hash. I could just tell by their talk and bloodshot eyes, that some of them were carrying drugs and it wouldn’t have surprised me if some of them were thinking about smuggling dope into Spain. I may have done a lot of dumb things in my life, but smuggling drugs is not one of them and I wanted to keep it that way. So I made sure that I checked my luggage before I got off the boat just in case somebody had decided to use me as a courier.
After disembarking the ferry at Algerceris, my newfound English friend and I caught the train to Madrid. When we first got on the train, there were plenty of seats and we could stretch out and get a little bit of sleep, but of course that sort of situation never lasts. During the middle of the night, hundreds of soldiers on leave got onto the train and of course we all had to sit up and nobody was getting any comfortable sleep. To make sure that nobody fell asleep sitting up, the soldiers drank and partied all night. It was during this uncomfortable time that my traveling companion told me that he had smuggled a condom full of hash oil into Spain by swallowing it.
Just before dawn, as I was starting to nod off, my new friend disappeared to the toilet to pass his contraband. It doesn’t bear thinking about how he sorted it all out in a train lavatory (I can remember thinking at the time that his fingernails were rather dirty), but he came back to his seat with a big smile on his face. His joy was short lived and his mood quickly turned to irritation, as there was now a sleeping soldier lying across his seat. So he walked up to the soldiers face, turned around, and let loose a ripper fart into the guy’s sleeping face.
I just couldn’t believe the sheer crazy audacity of the Pom’s action, and in a shot, the Spaniard was up and had his hands around the Englishman’s throat whilst screaming invective at him in Spanish.
There was going to be blood!
The hullabaloo of course attracted other soldiers, and I was sure we were both about to be beaten to a pulp by a mob. While the Spanish soldier was throttling my stupid friend, I was frantically trying to calm the situation down. As the choking English lad’s face was turning a bright red, he struggled vainly to get free and in the meantime the soldier’s comrades, advanced shaking their fists and baying for blood.
Amazingly, with my broken Spanish, I was able to eventually get everyone to calm down by convincing the soldiers that my friend was a complete idiot and that he was very sorry. The soldier let go of the Englishman, shoving down him into one of the seats and with a threatening gesture, left with his friends.
Whew! That was soooo close.
When we got to Madrid, the English guy offered to let me share his tent at a campground. The tent was a tiny little mountaineering tent called a “Force 10”, but at least it enabled us to stay in Madrid cheaply.
One of the first things we did after we got the tent setup was to go off to the nearest bodega and buy the cheapest wine we could get our hands on. We took some empty wine bottles and got them filled up for $.50 each. Strangely enough, I can say this without a doubt, it was absolutely the worst wine that I have ever drunk in my whole life. It was like drinking hydrochloric acid, and in the morning I had a very bad case of gastric reflux and a killer hangover.
Also, smoking something that had come out of a guy’s backside is a very weird thing to do.
Did I hear someone say…. Good shit?
Ahhhh… those were the days!