Taroudant - It is vacation time in Morocco. Everybody is rushing to the bus station to secure their tickets to their homeland.
Taroudant – It is vacation time in Morocco. Everybody is rushing to the bus station to secure their tickets to their homeland.
An unusual activity is observed in the bus station and taxi stands. Passengers with their heavy bags wearing jubilant smiles are bidding farewell to their friends and to shop keepers.
You can notice from a distance that they are very enthusiastic to leave, soon to meet their families and beloved ones. Yet they are very concerned and worried about the long miles they have to take, too.
For some people long distance is never a source of discomfort, but the poor state of many buses and taxis (plus to the crazy speed they run and repulsive treatments of those in charge of them) are, indeed, something that brings concern.
Having not been to my hometown for so long, my heart grew fonder and my desire to see my family and home-folk got even worse. Yet, I had to wait at least three days after the beginning of vacation. Everyone who has traveled by bus during the first days of holiday may be cognizant of the reasons behind my delay.
Traveling mostly by public means during the early and last days of vacation can be a risky experience. In addition to the incredible speed they run, buses, taxis and transits surfeit the number of seats they are allowed to carry, and many deadly accidents result therefrom.
During these periods, all the means of transportation don’t respect the prices that are established by and maintained by the government. Worse, they fleece passengers and make them pay out the wazoo for their tickets, even paying all the way to the final station of the bus regardless of where they want to stop.
All these intentionally contemptuous practices and defiance of the law I have eye-witnessed and were usually done before the authorities.
Passengers who may be considered lucky to secure a ticket in those hard times are not always to be begrudged. They are subject to offensive language and repulsive behaviors and treatments.
Most of the times buses drive non-stop, and passengers are not given any rest along the exhausting and extended distance. The luggage safety is the last thing for which you may rest assured. Being careless may cost one his/her bags.
Snatchers are generally more lively active during these busy days. Snatchers are not legally allowed to pick up passengers, but since authorities turn a blind eye, they never hesitate to give rides to passengers who are ready to pay incredible sums.
These casual opportunists take advantage of the occasional and temporary periods where there is a shortage of approved means of transports and of local people’s desperation. They carry passengers with next to no measures of security for the passenger.
At the absence of a clear insight and a wise strategy on the part of the government to find a solution to this seasonal crisis, people will remain at the mercy of those self-seekers that are looking to take advantage of the chaos in this time. But whatever it may be like in getting there, seeing your home appear on the horizon feels like no other thing on this Earth.
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