“Ask him if you’ll need your passport,” I suggest smartly. Smartly, because this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask when an 81-year-old Moroccan offers to take you to his village to buy argan oil. Never mind that his village is only an hour away, and you’re just going for the day, and there are no border crossings in sight. Moroccans in uniforms of various sorts like asking for passports. It’s their way.
Haji, our esteemed elder, is holding a red vinyl bag and gesturing towards his argyle cardigan. “Deux,” he says. “Two.” One for today, one for tomorrow.
I guess we are staying overnight then. I’d best get packing. Toothbrush, underwear, just the essentials. Quick. He’s waiting. Tapping his watch. “Vas-y! Vas-y! Go there! Go there!” Yes, sir. I’m going, sir.
We drive for a little while. Twenty minutes, maybe? And then we stop outside these big metal doors in the middle of Moroccan nowhere. Haji starts banging. Bang, bang, bang. Finally the monstrous gate opens and we drive through.