Jewish Journal

Too Much Man

April 22, 1999 | 8:00 pm

I hadn't even touched Moroccan soil when the friendly Royal Air Maroc flight attendant, Nabil, pressed a piece of paper on me, with a hurried whisper to call him. I looked down at the paper and saw his telephone number with a happy face and the words "call me" next to it. Was he serious? I had just wiped the jet-lag drool off the corner of my mouth, my hair was a mess, and my breath reeked of airplane green beans. In Southern California, it takes a good hair day and neatly applied makeup to get a guy to look at me, let alone give me his phone number.

Apparently, that's not the case with Moroccan men.

As I traveled throughout the country as part of a press tour of Morocco's Jewish community and landmarks, I soon realized that I could hardly step anywhere outside my hotel room without a pair of Moroccan male eyes on me. The hotel doormen in Casablanca, the salesmen at the Fez souks, the stranger in the Marrakech medina (old city) looked my way, even when I didn't look my best.

I asked the local guide of Marrakech why Moroccan men were lavishing so much attention on me.

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