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tv   Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown  CNN  May 26, 2014 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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but i think based on what i've seen, that if the world can get it right here, a country with a past like south africa's, if they can figure out how to make it work here for everybody. absorb all the people flooding in from all over africa, continue to make mandela's dream a reality, maybe there's hope for the rest of us. i've always wanted to get as far away as possible from the place that i was born.
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far both geographically and spiritually. to leave it behind. ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ perhaps something good ♪ in this beautiful world ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha-la-la-la ♪ sha-la-la-la ♪ sha-la-la-la-la ♪
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tangier, it's morocco. but from 1923 through 1956, it was loosely governed by the major powers, an international zone. for years, it seemed, everything was permitted. nothing was forbidden. at the northern tip of africa, a short ferry hop from spain, tangier was a magnet for writers, remittance men, spies and artists. if you were a bad boy of your time, you liked drugs, the kind of sex that was frowned upon at home and an affordable lifestyle set against an exotic background, tangier was for you. matisse, genest, william burroughs. many have come this way, staying a while or hanging around.
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but no one stayed longer or became more associated with tangier than the novelist and composer paul bowles. in works like "the sheltering sky" he created a romantic vision of tangier that persists even today, a dream that's become almost inseparable in the minds of many from reality. i'm here to find that dream city. the place burroughs referred to as "interzone." ♪ tangier like i said was a city of ex-pats -- people with pasts, people who simply didn't like
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where they were and craved somewhere and something else. the grand socco is the gateway to the medina where you could find the kasbah, which means fortress, by the way. the port is to the east, and right in the middle of it all, the petit socco, called the last spot, the meeting place, the switchboard of tangier. as burroughs called it. reasons for settling in tangier diverge, but everyone sooner or later, since the beginning of memory comes to cafe tingis. jonathan dawson came to this city over 20 years ago as a journalist and he never left. he lives a life not too distant from burroughs' fantasy. cake and tea at 4:00 every day served by his man servant. he may not have a gazelle, but a pet rooster will do.
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and every day he makes the rounds of the cafes, seeing all the old faces, ending up sooner or later here. >> this is the petit socco? >> this is the petit socco. yes. it existed in venetian times, existed in roman times, in the portuguese times and the english were here for 22 years and then the international city until 1956, now here. very historic square. very historic. >> as a writer, i've noticed everybody who comes here to do the article does the same article. >> it is so damn boring. they're all the beat generation and there are lots of other stories in morocco apart from that, but everyone likes the beats. bill burroughs, tennessee williams, they were all here, but that's a small part of the moroccan history. that's a 15-year page. there was a life before that and a life after that. you're here. >> yeah. it was inevitable.
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let's pretend those guys never came. what is this place? >> the reality is, you can read the story and live it. people do come here and try to live it, but they don't stay very long. they smoke a little dope, go to a cheap hotel and go home with bedbugs. >> and a great story. >> and a great story. >> the attitude here is different than other parts of morocco. i think they have a higher tolerance of tradition of bad or outrageous behavior. >> they have a high tolerance of mad people, you know? but moroccans essentially are very tolerant people. they quite like madness, as well. they kind of celebrate that a bit. you know? >> how moroccan is tangier? >> it's a moroccan city with a european outlook. you can stand up on the boulevard and see spain and gibraltar and see all sorts of people passing through, but it is a moroccan city. i'm 62 years old. i didn't know international days which finished in 1956, but at
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that time, i think europeans may have outnumbered moroccans in the center of this city. it's not the case now. there's very few europeans actually living here full time. >> the notion of living a life apart, of being somewhere else, there are those who like that feeling. i like that feeling. then there are those who may live apart, may live somewhere else, but they're not entirely comfortable. it's the difference annoys them or is a burden. >> it did, and it frustrates them. some people have to leave home to find their home. i'm one of those people. whereas i didn't feel at home in the country i was born in at all but here i feel okay. i feel very, very happy here. >> there is indeed something special about this place. burroughs described the native quarter of tangier as a maze of sunless twisting streets filled with blind alleys.
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its smell was particularly notable to him, including a mix of hashish, seared meat and sewage. tangier, before anything else, is essentially a port city, with all the things that traditionally come with port cities. it's situated at the choke point between the atlantic ocean and the mediterranean sea. the moroccan coast is a rich fishing ground and a lot of people make their living from the sea. onshore they use a method called sentul fishing, where weighted nets basically drag fish across the bottom of the sea. some of that fish, the good stuff, anyway, ends up here. the saveur de poisson, or restaurant populare or popeye's. the place has a lot of names, but locals and ex-pats alike who have been coming here for years say it has some of the best tagine in town.
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the chef and owner sources a lot of his stuff and produce and the greens in the mountains. and he's real proud of them. the back room is dedicated to sorting and drying various herbs which he blends into a secret mix that he claims has all sorts of healthful and boner-inspiring benefits. if every dish i have been told over the years would make me strong worked, i would have a permanent pup tent going on down, there so i take all of that with a grain of salt. >> hi. >> hello. his son delivers the food. it all starts with fresh olives, they're in season now and roasted walnuts. some warm, very good bread. squishy. and you get this stuff. everybody gets it. a pulpy puree of figs, raisins,
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strawberries and full of mohammed's potent herbs and spices. of course. >> all night, 24 clock. >> yeah, yeah, i get it. it's supposed to make me more manly. you know what? i'm eating. let's not talk about that, sunshine. what is a tagine, anyway? it's an original moroccan stew that can include meat, vegetables or ship. tonight, baby shark, calamari and monk fish with fresh mountain spinach smoked in the classic clay pot. the domed top is supposed to force the condensation back in to the dish and keep it moist and tender. that's delicious. i think it's the greens and the aromatics and the herbs, i have no idea what they are. never had anything like it. tangier version of farm to table. >> hi. >> wow. what's that? thank you.
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and a whole turbo, brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper and some coriander, then grilled perfectly over the coals. cuddled up next to the fish, tiny shark kabobs. cute. wow, spectacular. good value. all of this for 20 bucks? good value. i thought we did a pretty good job on mr. fish. that'll teach you. [ speaking foreign language ] >> he's freaking me out. it's like that guy with, you know, you're tripping and does this to you? for dessert, strawberries, pine nuts and honey. like the whole meal, it's eccentric and delicious. thank you. >> you're welcome. >> i haven't had so much fruits and nuts since altaban.
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"in tangier, i lived in one room in the native quarter. i have not taken a bath in a year nor changed my clothes or removed them, except to stick a needle every hour in the fibrous gray wooden flesh in terminal addiction. i never cleaned or dusted the room. empty ampoule boxes and garbage piled up to the ceiling. light and water long since turned off for nonpayment. i did absolutely nothing. i could look at the end of my shoe for eight hours. i was only roused to action when the hourglass of junk ran out." the words of william seward burroughs, one of my heroes. he came to tangier in 1953, shortly after shooting his wife to death in a drunken accident in mexico city.
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he was a heroin addict, a homosexual and an inspiration to those protohipsters who became known as the beats. burroughs had nothing about him that was a beat nick. he was a somewhat stuffy, well-dressed st. louis son of a good family gone wrong. he was also to my mind the greatest writer of the whole damn bunch. on the road, you can have it. his classic "naked lunch" was written here. a nonlinear, dark, dry humored searingly critical and satirical and profane masterpiece. burroughs was apparently high for much of the process on heroin or locally valuable prescription opiate. much of the process, on heroin, and the daily staple in many of these parts. hashish, keef and maldune.
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hashish is the concentrated thc resin of the cannabis plant as well as the leaves and flowers that have been separated from the buds compressed into sheet or brick-like form. keif is the part of the plant containing only the strongest concentration of psychoactive ingredients. majune is a confection made from keef, fruits, nuts, chocolate and honey. i was, of course, fascinated by this product since reading about it and inquired of some local contacts who shall necessarily go unnamed. how was it made? this is what i wanted to know. they were kind enough to demonstrate. keef is first chopped into fine granules and slowly added to melted butter and chocolate over a low heat to toast it and release the psychotropic goodies within.
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while the binder element is slow cooking in the pan, it's blended with cashews, almond, walnuts and dried fruit. this will be the framework to suspend the thc-laden goodness in the next step. the cannabis-laced butter chocolate is added along with plenty of honey to bind together all the ingredients. then mix. last, you roll the entirety of the mixture into a ball and either refrigerate or dig right in. of course, network standards and practices prohibit me from even tasting this delicious and reportedly mind-altering treat. i'm guessing, anyway. so until i see chris, john and wolf doing bong riffs in "the
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situation room," i will, of course, abide by these rules because that's the kind of guy i am. there's one particular cafe in the heart of the kasbah that's drawn in foreign dignitaries, rock stars, aristocrats and artists since it opened its doors in 1943. cafe baba. sweet mint tea in a thick slow-moving haze of smoke. it smells like my dorm room 1972. good evening, hello. this is george bajalia and zeneb, and i should say right now that i have no direct knowledge of either george or zaneb smoking anything illegal substances nor do i have any recollection of me doing anything untoward in their presence. because that would be, like, wrong, dude. george is here on a fulbright scholar and zaneb is an artist.
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others in the room, however, well, don't give me that innocent look, you young punks. i know somebody in here is smoking reefer. how stoned are people here? >> we can ask, just ask. >> you're not getting totally ripped here? >> no. it's a functional part of daily life. for a long time, the rest of the country and the government didn't really like tangier a whole lot. it was seedy. there were foreigners who came here and -- >> it makes money. >> he sees it as a future economic super power as i understand it. is that good or bad? >> for moroccans, it's work, but of course ex-pats want to keep tangier like they know it before. >> i mean, this cafe is very similar to the way it was, but there's a tv right there. >> flat screen. >> that's why people come here. they come to watch soccer games. >> you can well imagine the american guy who's lived in tangier for 30 years.
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he comes in, there's a flat screen tv on the wall. he's like -- what? you've ruined the authenticity and the integrity, but the moroccan guy at the next table is, like, wait a minute, asshole, you have a flat screen at home. i want one, too. what is wrong with that? >> there are people here who probably have never heard of -- if you follow that, there's no progression, no progress, no change. >> the thing about cafe baba, just sitting here, taking in the atmosphere, you begin to appreciate the place. >> there's something different happening here. >> contact high, whoa, i'm hungry. wait until the spanish tortilla dude across the street opens for business. this is abdileh. he specializes in one thing, and he makes it well. he makes an omelet. it's like a spanish tortilla.
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but like stonier. the potatoes are boiled, diced, mixed with beaten eggs and cooked in a cast iron skillet. oh, yeah. the eggs. the egg man. i am me and we are you and where is my omelet, dude, because i am hungry. >> one, two, three? >> abdileh is waiting for you when you come stumbling out of cafe baba. coincidence or not? you be the judge. >> ketchup and mayonnaise. everything. >> ketchup and mayonnaise? sure. why not? condiment options i will be hard pressed to turn down at this precise moment anyway. >> love the mayonnaise. >> hmm. dude, that's awesome. i'll have 12 more.
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paul bowles lived in tangier for over 50 years, and sherry nutting was part of his inner circle near the end of his life. she was his friend, record keeper of sorts, and photographer. you arrived when? >> i came in the '70s, but went down to marrakesh.
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in '86, i wrote a letter to paul bowles and said i had to meet him and take his picture. he wrote back and said, come and visit. well, i never left. >> a lot of people came here to live that dream or to live that life. has the reality come to resemble his perception? >> the tangier i see is paul bowles. i still see it. i still feel it. you can still find the magic. >> the market or souk in tangier is one of the best in morocco. the vendors are still pretty impressive. wander the markets long enough and you're sure to stumble across the unexpected. hooves? sure. how about a lamb's head? sure. here nothing goes to waste. charbroiled to crispy burnt per perfection it's served on a crusty lunch brea. not so adventurous? the grant socco's indoor market officers a variety of smoked, cured and fresh meat. smells good in here.
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the stuff looks good. i've heard this cheese is amazing. >> it's good, yeah. >> could i have one? >> a berber favorite, fresh goat cheese wrapped in palm leaves. >> yeah, they're beautiful, aren't they? >> it's good. [ speaking foreign language ] >> a little cheese, a little flat bread, the perfect moroccan breakfast to go. we're headed in to the jabal foothills in the mountain range about 80 kilometers of tangier to a place called jajouka. the village is home to the people of the al sharif tribe, which loosely translated means the saintly people. jajouka is also home to one of morocco's better-known musicians, bashir attar. jazz and rock and roll musicians
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have traveled all over the world to jajouka to meet this the guy. he's a lineage of master musicians, all from this small mountain village. ♪ >> famously dubbed as a 4,000-year-old rock band, by william burroughs, bashir, his son and these musicians maintain one of the oldest still living musical traditions on earth. ♪ we're invited for dinner. it's family style, of course, beginning with braywine, like a kefta pocket, hand formed envelopes of dough seasoned with seasoned beef, baked until golden and then crisped in oil. i'm good for now -- well, one more.
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uh-oh, here we go. the main event, tagine of chicken. >> welcome, tony. >> thank you. just gorgeous. first, chopped onions, garlic, parsley and turmeric are blended with olive oil. the bird is generously coated and stuffed. then after simmering in a touch of olive oil and water, it is fried until crispy, served with roasted almonds, paprika, ginger. nice. >> he smells the food. >> like anywhere else in the arab world, eating with your hands, always the right one, is proper dining etiquette. >> this is spinach. >> it's wild spinach. it grows in the mountains? >> yeah.
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>> vocalized chopped mountain spinach. garlic, cilantro, hot and black peppers finished with lemon and olive oil. that's delicious. >> i heard you are the greatest taste for food in the world, man. >> i love good food. this is good. >> yeah. >> after dinner some fruit, some mint tea, and let the music begin. the country's rulers from manual labor to devote themselves to musical training. ♪
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♪ their powerful style of sufi trance music has inspired most music seekers, including most notably perhaps paul bowles, who wrote about them and recorded them, and spread the word. brian jones was here and recorded "the pipes of pan at jajouka" with these musicians. the word spread and the master musicians have ended up being featured on albums by annette parker and nacio jones and the rolling stones.
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for years, if you were a rock god, you had to come here, dig the crazy percussion, strings and pipes that took you to another place. it's intricate, hypnotic, beautiful. if you're in the right frame of mind, mesmerizing.
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anyone who comes to tangier inevitably ends up lost in the old part of the city. the medina is just what you want it to be. the ancient world residing just next to and around the new one.
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you can walk around inside the movie in your head, play the bogie character you never were, all against an all too willing, all too genuine backdrop. ordinarily just about the last thing in the world i would be interested in doing is antiquing, but buried in the network of twisting narrow streets of the old city is boutique majid, and he's one interesting guy. thank you. >> come in. >> when he was a little kid back in the '60s, majid left his hometown of fez and came here where he would earn money emptying ashtrays at wild parties being thrown here by wealthy ex-pats. he saw what people would buy for themselves, how they decorate their homes and he started to look around for himself,
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scoring, then reselling art and antiques. wow. it became something of an obsession. now his artifacts from morocco, and north africa, are bought by collectors all over the world. jewelry and old doors. wow, these are incredibly beautiful. tell me about that. >> amber, coral, shells. these used to be currency. these shells. >> how old is this? >> early '20s. the amber is millions of years old. >> how much are you selling it for? >> by weight. quite heavy piece this one, 429 grams. so it comes like 42,000 -- >> so that's how much in dollars? >> almost $5,000. >> about $5,000. >> almost. >> should we look at another floor? >> oh, yes, follow me.
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there's a nice collection of things from sahara. >> so you travel a lot? >> not like you. >> oh, this is for pounding -- >> yes, this is from the gon tribe. from mali. >> how much will this sell for do you think? >> around $300. >> really? for this? that's very reasonable. i'll be buying that. that's going to be an old friend. >> also memory. >> also memory of tangier as well. >> majid suggests lunch at andalous, a local's only place nearby. >> as a moroccan, so many people come with a romantic notion of a tangier they read about in books. do people have a realistic expectation? are they looking for morocco or this phantasm? >> it is a phantasm. it is. when you get here, you know
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morocco, you feel that you are in morocco but you are not. there's a lot of mediterranean attached to this town. also the history, people hear story about tangier that it was -- when i first came in the '60s, everybody said that you came late. >> right. >> now i'm saying the same thing as the young now. they come and they saw wow, i say -- >> what was better about those days? >> well, for me at that time i was young, and it was the boom of hippies, and it was a destination. you know, cafe baba, meet bob dylan, and the parties was going on. i miss these kind of parties. people fly from everywhere to the party, and they make the whole town move. blue and white party, white and gold party, hat party, you know, it's amazing. you see people coming in with amazing hats, like a cage with a bird, extravagant hats, you know.
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they put so much energy and time into the parties, you know? look at -- >> now, that looks good. >> tomatoes brushed with local olive oil, garlic and coriander. liver kabobs, beef liver to be exact, grilled over charcoal. that looks very nice. for fish, a bit of swordfish and a little roughy. >> that is just beautiful. >> how do you like the tomato? >> the swordfish is amazing. so how else have things changed? >> you saw how many tourists there was today? >> they were in a hurry. >> if they come to the shop, even try to avoid your eye contact. they afraid if you get my eye contact, i'm going to rip you off or -- >> or make you buy something? that they don't want. >> i don't know. i don't know. >> do they buy? >> they don't even say hello. >> they don't buy? >> of course, we call them
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when tangier was interzone back in the day, it seemed to some i'm sure as if the ex-pats outnumbered the locals. that was never true, but you certainly could live a life apart, make your own world within the existing one. reinvent yourself and live entirely in a universe of your own creation. far from the grand socco is a 14-acre estate owned by christopher gibbs, a well-known dealer of antiques and longtime ex-pat. today, he's having a garden party. who's coming? jonathan you know. maggie dean is from scotland. she's been living here for more than a decade. gp, a frenchman who has a hand
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on a lot of businesses, including a cafe in the kasbah. years lived here, unknown. an american, she's been here forever, led many lives, i gather, and occasionally translates books from magrabbi to english. and the dashing and mysterious baron, an artist from chile, who's been living and working in the kasbah since a hasty exit from puerto rico for reasons never fully explained. on the menu, bastilla, a meat or often pigeon pie as traditional moroccan as it gets. today made by gibbs' full-time cooks. jamilla and fatima. it's chicken slow-cooked, pulled or shredded and folded into an egg mixture. cooked in a reduced stock from the boil.
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this is layered with blanched almonds, powdered sugar and cinnamon. the whole lot is wrapped in a crepe-like dough. after baking to a golden crispiness, the final touch is a dusting of even more cinnamon and sugar. it's got a sweet savory thing going on, and it's quite tasty. >> if you get nervous when you go in a room and you touch the light switch, and the lights don't come on, you shouldn't be living in this country. >> what was that first moment when you said i could live here? >> i'm still quite unsure about that. i came here first in 1958. when it was quite different. everyone wore native dress, but islam still the throbbing motor of life here. i have a very tender feelings
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for morocco and the friendliness and the courtesy of the people and its children. it's bonjour. [ speaking foreign language ] >> i always feel welcomed here. i never consider it's mine. it's theirs and they've allowed me to live here in a nice way. i feel recognition. they know who i am. they know who i am. >> there is a side by side aspect to life here that's very unusual. >> very unusual here. it's mostly you can do whatever you want if you do it with good manners. >> it is a station of the cross for, you know, bad boys of culture. i mean, rambo. iggy pop. the stones. burroughs writes and came here to be a writer. >> he was a junkie before he was a writer. >> as so many of us were. >> a place to think of yourself as a writer you would come here and somehow working within a romantic tradition. >> yes. >> burroughs said right up
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front, writer to me lounged around in a smoking jacket or a caftan and smoking hash pipe or opium pipe littered with sleeping boys. >> yes. >> or girls. >> to what extent did that world exist and to what extent was that world created by the people that showed up with that expectation? >> since bill departed, iep, dear, wonderful, marvelous man, he's gone, it's tame now. >> it is tame. >> well, he was -- >> genteel now. >> he was the very opposite of genteel. he was an outlaw of every society. >> my husband knew him very well and he was saying that i cured him of being a drug addict. i said how? he said, i turned him into an alcoholic. >> who smokes hashish at this table? please raise your hand. >> is the camera on? >> put your hand up, bianca.
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it's my last night in tangier and i'm headed out. thank you, yes. most cities in the islamic world, getting a beer can be difficult. not here. as long as you're outside the medina, nearly anything goes. tangier reverts to its libertine past. here, western influences become very apparent. ♪ any night of the week is a good night for young moroccons to take to the streets. he's from a generation of moroccans far removed from the burroughser era. he's invited me out for a casual snack.
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tuna, eggs and a healthy wad of mayo. french fries within the sandwich. this is delicious. by the way. the bread here is very good. you work in magazine journalist? >> yes. i'm not a journalist but i own an urban magazine here in tangier to inform moroccans we are living in a place that's pretty special. it is not a place for burroughs or paul bowles or other people came to tangier. the city has something which makes it different from other cities. >> what about young artists, young writers, young musicians? do they come here expecting this romantic paul bowles wonderland of the '50s? >> some were. some weren't. too bohemian. >> too bohemian? >> yeah. they thought that coming and being an artist -- >> is going to be enough? >> is going to be enough. today it is not enough.
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most of them pack their bags. >> right. >> today we have so many investments going on here in tangier thanks to our king. investors are here. tourists are attracted. but the most important part of it is we should keep the old parts of the city intact. the kasbah, the medina. that's what's hard to do because when you have a european purchasing power coming over here to tangier -- >> they come like we come. we embrace it. other people want to come. and then we throw up. will tangier's unique character survive? >> i hope so. i really hope so. >> tangier is morocco.
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always was morocco. and recently the country's leadership seems to have embraced it. in all its ill reputed glory. the days of predatory poets in search of literary inspiration and young flesh are probably over for good. hippies can just as easily get their bong rips in portland or peoria. but the good stuff, the real good stuff, the sounds and smells and the look of tangier, what you see and hear when you lean out the window and take it all in, that's here to stay.
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[ bells tolling ] ♪ >> we go up this beautiful mountain. this incredible town. it goes back to the 12th century. people trudge up the hill to the beautiful church to take the walk that michael corleone took. now and forever more it will be sort of "the godfather" theme park, where they're playing "the godfather" theme over and over.

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