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Monday, November 26, 2012

Travel log ,final post

Morocco is a real study in contrasts. You have the sun bleached dry deserts, you have the mountains that dump large amounts of snow. You have the rocky plains where nothing grows and you have mile after mile of developed farm lands. You have slum/shacks made of old pallets and plastic wrap (with satellite dishes on top of course) and you have sky scrapers and super malls.
In front of my dream fish tank (filled with exotic fish) at the largest mall in Africa.

The one thing you don’t see is a mean spirit to the people. Almost all of the people, young and old, were very friendly and helpful. Taxi drivers, door men. The gambit. The cultures are different then what many people may think. Yes, there are those devout to their religion and traditions, they love their country and their king, but they were not of ill will toward foreigners.

While the people are just like many people here in the states. Some difference may be seen in the way they present themselves in public. They all dress very neatly. Men and woman both all dressed very sharply in whatever they were wearing. If it was a burka, it was clean and well pressed. Same for the men who wore the traditional djabas (sp?) . If they wore western garb it was neat and clean. Button down shirts and ties, long pants. Many of the men wore sports warm ups or or other modern fashions and both loved shopping for shoes, boots, watches and the latest phones.
The shops don’t seem to open till much later in the day (10 AM for most places) but stay open a little later. While there were exceptions, I saw very few woman actually working in sales. It was mostly male dominated.

The calls to prayer could be heard 6 times a day but I don’t think it really was a huge thing for people. Not that they didn't pray. Just that they didn't stop whatever they were necessarily doing to go do it. If they were not busy and around a mosque I think they went or stopped and prayed. If they were busy they just kept on doing what ever it was they were doing.

It seemed like the barber shops only opened when other places were closing down. I guess the tradition for men was go to work, hustle all day and then get a hair cut at night and go out.

The men sat inside the shops, smoked and watched soccer or outside in front of the tea houses in long rows and watch the single woman strut by in their finest. And strut they did. But it was all very classy. They were all dressed very nice and classy. Not all half dressed or falling out of their clothing like some do here in the states but more like how someone might dress to a business meeting, in fine fitting fashion with about half the woman wearing a scarf over their hair. Showing skin was kept to a minimum and I don’t think I saw anything exposed above the ankle for the first 10 days I was there.

 Older woman and families eating out at night were a rare sight but when they did eat out I don't doubt what they ate was served with olives. I swear I have seldom seen so much love for olives in my life. They put them in everything.There are entire shops that cater to the wide variety and spicing for olives. It was different.

I am not sure when school started but I seemed like the kids went to school for longer hours. While someone told me they are only required to go to school for 6 years, I am not sure that was common in the cities. Some families also had their children going to school well into the night but when they got out after that it seemed like they sort of went free. I would see kids say 8 or 10 years old riding scooters in regular traffic, selling cigarettes etc..

While scooters are one of the key forms of transportation No real sign of helmets anywhere were seen for the entire trip. Just the opposite for litter. Litter seems to be a common thread with developing countries I have visited.

Sightings of the police were an anomaly but I never felt like my being or belongings were ever in any real danger from any person or ill will toward me. I doubt the people are all that litigious as things like open holes in sidewalks were common sights.

 Very common.

Traffic, while crazy, routinely stopped on its own to let pedestrians cross the crowded streets. I guess the rule that the pedestrian is always right is strictly enforced (as in a cab driver could lose their license if they hit one sort of strict). While the shop keepers and business people loved the hustle, when the deal was made they shook hands stuck to it and delivered what was ordered with a smile They often would go above and beyond to try and make sure you were satisfied after the sale.

A fun trip to be sure but as always its great to be back in the USA!


  1. Reading your journal and seeing your pictures from your trip to Morocco have been absolutely fascinating, but you never did tell us why you chose to go there...maybe none of our business, but we are curious...we do respect your privacy.

  2. It just sounded interesting to me.


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