Marrakech, Morocco Donkey Carriage

We left Barcelona (read all about it), arrived in Marrakech and headed to the immigration line to obtain our visas. When we reached the front, the next available officer made a gesture with his hand asking us to step to his booth. Both of us approached, and then he motioned to my girlfriend to step back so he could chat with me.

He requests my passport and entry card, and starts looking through the paperwork. He looks up and asks, “Where your grandfather is from?” I take a moment to think, “Pakistan.” Right after I said that I realized that my grandparents were probably from India, because that’s where my parents were born, even though my parents eventually moved to Pakistan and conceived my brother and I. Plus, when my grandparents were young, Pakistan and India were both one country. I never knew any of my grandparents, so answering a question about them wasn’t something that I was quick with. It didn’t matter anyway, it’s not like he could check.

He then stares at my passport picture, glances up at me, then back at the picture and up again. “You look mad in your picture, but in person you are smiling.” I chuckled and responded, “You’re not allowed to smile for your US passport photo.“

Then out of left field, he says, “You're Muslim?" "Yeah I am". Now, I was raised Muslim, but technically I’m an Atheist, but I wasn’t going to say that to him. How would that look, “Nah man, I’m an Atheist. Fuck God!” I wasn’t going to just say that to the immigration officer, in a Muslim country. I’ve read what they do to Atheists.

Barcelona is Awesome

I saw at least 6 pairs of boobs in one day at Barceloneta beach. I didn’t exactly go scouring for them with a set of binoculars, they were just out, getting a tan. In Spain, the culture is a bit more lax than what you may be used to in the states. If you’re at the beach, chances are you’re going to see a few topless women. Don’t just start staring though, that’s rude, asshole!

People seem much more open minded and the pace of life is slow, making someone like me, who lives in New York City, very antsy due to the lack of speed. Once you synchronize yourself though, with the sun shining every day, your mood quickly turns to bliss.

Every time I told someone I was going to Barcelona, they responded with “You’re going to love it! Barcelona is awesome!” People talk about how fantastic certain cities are, but the enthusiasm surrounding Barcelona was much louder than usual. I was hoping it didn’t create high expectations that Barcelona couldn’t live up to.

When we landed we turned off our cellphones, so we had to find out how to get to our destination the old school way, by finding a map and talking to people in information services. Originally, we were thinking of taking public transportation, but since we had our bags and didn’t want to end up getting lost, we figured we’d take a cab. It cost us around €35 ($45) to take a cab to the Barceloneta neighborhood, which is right off of the city center. For reference, you can take an airport bus straight to the middle of the city, near Plaça de Catalunya, and then take a train or a bus to any part of Barcelona for about €7 total per person. That’s the method of transportation we used when going back to the airport at the end of our trip.

 

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Location: New York, NY

I've biked, rollerbladed and even went ice skating once, but have never tried skateboarding. My eXperiment for June took me on a journey to understand skate culture, learn about skateboards, purchase one and take a class to learn how to ride. Besides the ride itself, there was a bit of a surprise when I took the class as you'll see in the video.

Sadiq Samani Red Jacket
 

Location: Chicago, IL

This is what you end up doing when you want to be silly by parodying a national trend known as the #IceBucketChallenge. Though, it's not a bad idea to donate to colon cancer research too!

 

Location: London, England. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Berlin, Germany.

My first time doing a EuroTrip through London, Amsterdam and Berlin for the first month of the eXperiment. My feedback for all my travels, including Piccadilly Circus in London, to cycling in Amsterdam and the East Side Gallery in Berlin.
 

Location: Berlin, Germany

After partying in Berlin till 6am, my Swedish friends and I ran into two French girls, one of whom I proceeded to interview.
reddit Shredded
Jun 11
2014

Continued from the post Part 1: Russia Registers Jews, America Registers Muslims. Part 2: The Night in Jail.

It can be difficult discussing a topic as sensitive as this. It can put you in a vulnerable position, especially when sharing something that is very political in nature. On top of that, to do an AMA on reddit, is really exposing yourself.

Many Americans that I had told my story to didn’t even know this process occurred. Even my most educated friends had no clue. With such lack of information on the topic, I decided to write out my story for others, as well as do an AMA.

The Night in Jail
Jun 05
2014

Continued from the post Russia Registers Jews, America Registers Muslims.

We were driven in the van for almost an hour, in our green jumpsuits, cuffed. We pulled up to a building whose details I don’t recall anymore, as it happened so fast. All I remember are emotions: scared, uncertain, anxious.

We were taken into a building with bright white lights hitting our eyes and blinding us due to it’s intensity. We were processed, patted down and escorted down a large hallway. My eyes still adjusting from the heavy fluorescent light. I could hear shouting, whistling and clanking as we approached a large cell with disgruntled, tattooed men, wearing orange jumpsuits, who were lined at the front howling and hooting at us, “Hey sweeeeeetheart <whistle>”. I pissed my pants because these were hard criminals. My mind kept repeating, “Please don’t let me get raped, please don’t let me get raped. Pllllllleaaaassseeeee.” I wasn’t prepared for this, but instead of the officer stopping, he kept walking and we passed by this area until we approached another cell where several inmates in green jumpsuits were just lounging around. They opened the gate and told us to go in.

Keep Our Internet Open Net Neutrality In Five Paragraphs

You currently pay $50+ per month for basic internet. You can connect to Google, Netflix, Facebook, Spotify, Wikipedia, Steam and SadiqSamani.com at the same speed across the board. None of these websites gets special treatment.

Comcast, Time Warner, and other broadband internet companies, that are listed at the bottom of customer satisfaction surveys every year, believe that they should be able to choose which websites would get faster speeds when delivering their content (news, shopping, music, movies, games) to you. This would mean that not only are you paying for your internet, but companies you want to interact with must pay more for better access to you, even though they also pay to connect to the internet already. That’s like allowing you to call Best Buy without any issue, but when you call their local competitor, B&H, you’d have to wait much longer to connect because B&H couldn’t pay the toll for faster service delivery as Best Buy did, even though both companies already paid for a phone line. Anyone that has dealt with Best Buy knows they suck emu balls, so a move like this would give providers the ability to charge for the same service twice while stifling competition.

 

Location: New York, NY

Improvising an interview with Supermodel Ashley Abboushi while moving a couch from a friend's place to my apartment.