What not to wear in Spain and Portugal …

a Djellaba!

Well not if you don’t want to create confusion amongst all the people you will pass on the streets, police officers, rail officials and more importantly, older arabic women.

I have no issue with creating confusion amongst people; it stimulates discussion and always brings up a story, however when a nice older Moroccan woman in Sevilla, comes up with a polite “Assalaamu Alaikum” and my response was a polite “Wa alaikum assalaam” and then she smiles and asks me a question in Arabic, and my response is “I’m so sorry, that’s all I know” and her facial expression went from smiling to utter shock and consternation, I figure it’s time to take off the Djellaba.

She seemed so happy to see something familiar and my liking this Djellaba took that away from her, which wasn’t fair to her. That being said the entire bus from Sevilla to Lisbon was full but for three seats and while I had the hood of the Djellaba over my head, no one wanted to sit next to me, which was awesome for a 7 hour bus ride.

Two Canadian women managed to come up and ask me where I was from. I asked in perfect Trini english, “Why allyuh arksin’ me about where I’m from? What prompt allyuh to arkse meh dat? and the answer was … “Well you look like a large filipino or Hawaiian guy, and not really a Moroccan” … a couple minutes later, the three of us were having a coffee discussing while Charles Bridge in Prague is a tourist trap and how the women got completely scammed buying carpets in Casablanca (!)  Why would they buy a carpet in Casablanca is beyond me … but when you’re on a tour bus, this will happen, since there is no real contact with the locals. However I now have a place to stay in Calgary, if I ever go back … ummm not really unless it’s for work. Couchsurfing in Canada doesn’t appeal to me … there isn’t the same allure of the unknown.

For now at 9.29am in Porto, I’m still wearing my Djellaba. It’s too damn comfortable … to hell with manners, I like my comfort. I think I’m only wearing Djellabas from now on. I have yet to take a picture with it … somethings are better left to the imagination or the horror story … you take your pick.

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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