The Monumental Dumbass (and two lessons in economics)

27 nov – 2 dec 2019


I’m not sure I’ve ever felt as dumb as when I bring Ananda to Marrakesh Airport. My thoughts are not at all with the awesome adventures that lie ahead. Why would any sane person leave for three months in search of “adventure” in some of the least developed places in the world, when I get to share my daily life with the most wonderful person, who brightens and expands my world on a daily basis? The past 4 days have been a reminder of how nice it is to travel together, to share the moment when I see something cool or have her by my side when I feel lost.

In economics, one of the core concepts of investment is that risk and reward go hand in hand; if you want to have the opportunity of a higher reward, you’ll have to take a higher risk. System banks have proven to be an exception to this rule, but generally speaking, it applies to everything. Despite that rule, I have a low-risk, high-reward opportunity right at my fingertips: just do my traveling with my wonderful wife! It’s as if I’m given the opportunity to run a sytem bank and reject it.

That brings me to my second economical lesson. Almost all economical models are based on the assumption that humans behave rationally; they weigh their choices, assess the potential risks and rewards as best as they can, and then make an informed decision on how to achieve maximum utility. Given that I’ve just walked away from a low-risk, high-reward option in favour of a three month trip with statistically higher risks* and a completely unpredictable reward outcome, I’m living (so far, knock on wood) proof that humans behave irrationally, and therefore most economic models are nearly useless.

*one risk I am averting for the next three months is that of the Brazilian / Latina Drama Queen Look of Death when I say or do something monumentally stupid at home, so at least there’s that positive… 😉 te amo!

As I return from the airport, it’s raining so hard that Jemaa el Fna is deserted, the Film Festival’s projector shining a beam through the empty sky for an absent audience. I check in to a cheaper hotel, whose building is not designed to handle the amount of rain hitting Marrakesh at the moment, so there are waterfalls running from the rooftop terrace down the stairs, and the hotel staff spends most of the night trying to mop this up. My room is also cold, noisy and extremely bare, so it’s obvious that Karma is confirming my stupidity.

The following afternoon, I board Morocco’s long distance transport mode of choice, a Supratours bus. It’ll take me on a monster 25 hour / 1.800km ride into the Sahara desert, to the end of the world also known as Dakhla.

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