"We will grow them next year' says one customs official, but Munir is having none of it. 'Life is like a bubble, you don't know when it will burst' he says. 'Death won't send you an email. There is no other time but now'
Later I say to him that maybe he should go carefully around authority, but he gives me a story from the Koran about bystanders to a crime being turned into swine for doing nothing. "I am protecting myself' he says.
We are going to get along fine.
As we get drawn through all the security to our parking places, we are asked to give up our green T-shirts. These are shirts with the route printed on them that should have been given to all crews, but.... It turns out that the map shows Morocco ending without including Western Sahara within its boundaries, and so the Moroccans are insulted, and confiscate all the T-shirts. Now Munir and I have a different problem, because we have no T-shirts to be confiscated, and that leads to some agitation, but anyway, why haven't those policemen got beards..? The problem goes away, but it takes several hours to do so. Of course, if we had T-shirts that showed Western Sahara as part of Morocco, then they probably wouldn't let us into Algeria, our next country.
Algeria fund and give refuge -allegedly -to the Polissario, the rebels or Freedom Fighters of Western Sahara, and of course this has led to some bad blood between the two countries. In fact the border between them is sealed, and we are only getting through because, for all Arabs, Palestine is a cause that transcends all other quarrels; but the border will be sealed behind us.
We have been talking in the van, over the last few days, about Islam and the role of Muslims in the Liberation of Palestine. About 80% of the convoy, perhaps even more, are Muslim, some ethnic British converts, and a few from all over, but most are from Pakistan origins - though everyone on the convoy has a British Passport.
We discuss the need to give charitably that most Muslims feel is a duty, and which results in large quantities of aid being quietly delivered to Palestine continually. The majority community in the UK are simply not aware of the great quantity of work done in this way, but is it enough?
Irshad, one of the two younger of our passengers, now returned home to study, feels that aid is not enough without political action, and all agree that it is therefore fantastic to see so many Muslims taking the front line role in this direct action, which may even lead to civil disobedience at the Rafah crossing. Or, of course, it may not, say others, it may simply be an aid convoy going to Gaza, controlled by the countries it passes through, and stopped by Egypt.
Which is most important - getting the aid there, or getting there and forcing the gates open? What happens if the Israelis say 'leave the aid there and we will let the UN deliver it?, or the Israelis themselves promise to deliver it?
For me, the UN can get aid there more efficiently than ever we could hope to do, although we are bringing in aid that the Israelis will not allow them to bring, such as my fire-fighter's kits. Others are driving vehicles which are themselves the donation; Stirling is sending 12 Ambulances, and Birmingham raising £100,000 for nine various vehicles, including the Birmingham's Bus. This aid is clearly valuable, but efficiency wise, shouldn't we be agitating for the UN to be allowed to deliver it?
I believe that is what we are doing by this trip. We are campaigning for open borders for Gaza to develop its own economic life, so that it doesn't need aid, and that the aid that it WILL need until it can stand on its own two feet can be delivered as easily as to any other disaster zone.
When I spend the €150 Euro given to me by the stranger on the boat - God bless him, or when I fill up with fuel from the small amounts raised by the even smaller group that support me from Chester, organising benefits and donating, I'm told, a days pay - thank you barristas! - Alexander's rocks! - it will be for the children of Gaza, by standing at the gates of Gaza and demanding that they be set free. Not just a special treat, the doors of the prison opened for a rare glimpse of the outside world, or for an even rarer special treat to come in, but open for ever, so the children, when they are grown, listen to tales of their parents captivity with incomprehension, as they travel on the same bus as Israelis, to the same promised land.
Anything less is surely a betrayal. Every mouthful of food driven through those gates of Hell is a lifeline, and getting our convoy in fills a serious need, but until the walls of the prison that is Gaza are ripped down; until we all say to our governments that we will not tolerate their inactivity, and force them to take the actions necessary to bring freedom and so make the aid unnecessary; until then, we are just scattering money and help on the wind. We simply demand exactly equal rights for Palestinians, nothing more and nothing less, and equality, release from the prison of Gaza is surely the best gift that any parent could give to any child.
So, our debate was about whether Muslims, generally agree with this, or are content to give alms, and watch the apartheid continue. Collaboration with the enemy it has been called by some, because it cleans up Israel's mess and rescues those that Israel would leave to die. In the most cynical view, only the dead get publicity!
The riotous reception that our convoy got on the streets of Tangier leaves me in no doubt that in Morocco, at least, the people know what they want their government to do. And when the walls of Gaza fall, I definitely want to be in that parade.