Outside of Agadir, on the back of a moped: I had Paul Simon stuck in my head — my pavlovian response to the open road, thanks to Graceland having been one of the few tapes (along with Legend and Forever Your Girl) that my family could count on during car trips when I was young. I was singing about ghosts and empties while we ziped toward Taghazout, a town that promised to be a little bit hippie, a little bit surfer, and a whole lot Berber.
“This is Banana Village,” my friend shouted into the wind, halfway to our destination.
“What’s a banana village?” I called back.
He didn’t answer, but I figured it out when we stopped in the middle of Aourir for a bunch:
There’s a Moroccan joke about how hard it is for tourists to pronounce the word for mint, which is na3na3. And in the joke the tourist orders atay b’na3na3 (mint tea), but because they can’t pronounce the eins, the waiter brings out banana tea. The tourist is, of course, appalled — “This is Morocco! You’re famous for your Mint Tea!” — And the waiter is equally appalled: “But you ordered atay banana!” Cue the symbols.
Beyond Aourir, the coastline upgrades from beautiful to spectacular:
And at the bottom of one of these cliffs we found a small beach cafe, perfect for enjoying our bananas…with tea, of course.