Morocco is an open Islamic country in North Africa- and this is my survival.
The sound of Morocco can be exhilarating and the smell is just overwhelming. While being white (foreign) is a sign of wealth, the hierarchy of foreignness is definite starting from American and English, Dutch and German, French, and the rest will follow- again.
Speaking English is an advantage when you are an English man that doesn’t speak French- if you don’t then whisper and gestures will be your option.
While Morocco is an open city to explore, I believe the government has done a tremendous policy in making sure that tourists are given priority since tourism is the major contributor to its economy. I was in Medina trying to explore the city of Marrakech, looked every corner of the market in the African continent. I saw crowded and happy tourists waited for the night to arrive while the market is getting bright through lights and busy food stalls. While you will see dog poo, dirty streets, and everything else. So everything you wear will get dirty- no joke. I am lucky to travel this country without serious issues, but it doesn’t mean I need to feel safe.
You will see the snake charmers in Medina that will grab your camera while people will surround you and boom! You can’t say “No”. Unless you are ready to pay, and have a money to pay for it. If not, then you will be harassed, or followed. This is a survival from touts.
It was a charge to experience, and I admit- I fell into that trap!
You will not need a guide unless you are shopping for novelty items. In the alleyways, you will not need a guide- I promise. Google map is built for us to use whenever we need to locate a restaurant or streets.
In my first week, my travel has been intense, I started to travel by train going North from Marrakech. Bought a second class seat of the train, confused by the train section with French beautiful Moroccan girl who wanted to exchange seat with me. The travel took 5 hours, got bored, abused the replay button of my smartphone. It says” Gare De Fes”. Welcome to the city of Fes, where another unique place to discover.
I found two Moroccans who were standing outside an old building while their heights made me feel that I am about to meet this giant Moroccan AWESOMENESS. They don’t speak English, uffff…so I prepared to use my hidden Arabic language skills, and they were confused and so I am. Damn, it was crazy!
My Middle Eastern Arabic did not work, so Spanish saved me from chaos. I would suggest to learn basic French or at least Spanish when going to Morocco. But I met young generations who are good in English. I was in total confusion and asked myself in the balcony of a simple hotel in the city, ” what will I do?”
I saw a lot of chaos in the city of Medina when it comes to animal brutality. Starving dogs, and cats everywhere. I was awake most of the night listening to cats fighting and dogs barking. This is the reality of travel, it is not all about luxury.
I don’t want to stay a blind eye to it, yes, I saw a lot of big pictures in the country.
The next day, I had a dinner with a friend in Rabat city. He shared how his mother is struggling to raise her four children, but he was smiling. I felt the love and unity in the family over the disadvantage that is often highlighted by us, the outsiders. But they are happy. Moroccans are happy, maybe they don’t see what I see so far.
Moroccans are happy, maybe they don’t see what I see so far.
I travel because I need to. “Travel is made up of distances and differences which are the pillars of creativity.
I want to hear your experiences too! Please don’t hesitate to share your survival tips.