Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

I'm a Stranger Here Myself   By: (1917-1983)

Book cover

First Page:

One can't be too cautious about the people one meets in Tangier. They're all weirdies of one kind or another. Me? Oh,

I'm A Stranger Here Myself


The Place de France is the town's hub. It marks the end of Boulevard Pasteur, the main drag of the westernized part of the city, and the beginning of Rue de la Liberté, which leads down to the Grand Socco and the medina. In a three minute walk from the Place de France you can go from an ultra modern, California like resort to the Baghdad of Harun al Rashid.

It's quite a town, Tangier.

King size sidewalk cafes occupy three of the strategic corners on the Place de France. The Cafe de Paris serves the best draft beer in town, gets all the better custom, and has three shoeshine boys attached to the establishment. You can sit of a sunny morning and read the Paris edition of the New York Herald Tribune while getting your shoes done up like mirrors for thirty Moroccan francs which comes to about five cents at current exchange.

You can sit there, after the paper's read, sip your expresso and watch the people go by.

Tangier is possibly the most cosmopolitan city in the world. In native costume you'll see Berber and Rif, Arab and Blue Man, and occasionally a Senegalese from further south. In European dress you'll see Japs and Chinese, Hindus and Turks, Levantines and Filipinos, North Americans and South Americans, and, of course, even Europeans from both sides of the Curtain.

In Tangier you'll find some of the world's poorest and some of the richest. The poorest will try to sell you anything from a shoeshine to their not very lily white bodies, and the richest will avoid your eyes, afraid you might try to sell them something.

In spite of recent changes, the town still has its unique qualities. As a result of them the permanent population includes smugglers and black marketeers, fugitives from justice and international con men, espionage and counter espionage agents, homosexuals, nymphomaniacs, alcoholics, drug addicts, displaced persons, ex royalty, and subversives of every flavor. Local law limits the activities of few of these.

Like I said, it's quite a town.

I looked up from my Herald Tribune and said, "Hello, Paul. Anything new cooking?"

He sank into the chair opposite me and looked around for the waiter. The tables were all crowded and since mine was a face he recognized, he assumed he was welcome to intrude. It was more or less standard procedure at the Cafe de Paris. It wasn't a place to go if you wanted to be alone.

Paul said, "How are you, Rupert? Haven't seen you for donkey's years."

The waiter came along and Paul ordered a glass of beer. Paul was an easy going, sallow faced little man. I vaguely remembered somebody saying he was from Liverpool and in exports.

"What's in the newspaper?" he said, disinterestedly.

"Pogo and Albert are going to fight a duel," I told him, "and Lil Abner is becoming a rock'n'roll singer."

He grunted.

"Oh," I said, "the intellectual type." I scanned the front page. "The Russkies have put up another manned satellite."

"They have, eh? How big?"

"Several times bigger than anything we Americans have."

The beer came and looked good, so I ordered a glass too.

Paul said, "What ever happened to those poxy flying saucers?"

"What flying saucers?"

A French girl went by with a poodle so finely clipped as to look as though it'd been shaven. The girl was in the latest from Paris. Every pore in place. We both looked after her.

"You know, what everybody was seeing a few years ago. It's too bad one of these bloody manned satellites wasn't up then. Maybe they would've seen one."

"That's an idea," I said.

We didn't say anything else for a while and I began to wonder if I could go back to my paper without rubbing him the wrong way. I didn't know Paul very well, but, for that matter, it's comparatively seldom you ever get to know anybody very well in Tangier... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books