Fallon and I left the US last Sunday night at around Midnight. We checked our backpacks in Boston and I reminded the woman at least three times that we just wanted the bags checked until Turkey and she assured me they would be there. When we landed in Turkey a million hours later our bags where not there. The Turkish Airlines assured us they would be in Morocco the next day. I have to say Turkish airlines is really nice actually, I would recommend it. We left the airport without our bags and took the tram into Istambul. It was cool to see the city go by out the window and our hostel was right in the heart of Istambul next to the two huge famous mosques which we checked out before eating a rooftop dinner with a view of the ocean, super nice. The whole layover made me want to check out Turkey more someday!
The next day we were back at the airport in the same clothes and on a relatively short flight to Casablanca. We were pretty stoked to see our bags there upon arrival. We took a train into the city and then someone kindly loaned me their phone in the train station to call our couchsurf host who told us how to take the tram to his apartment. On the tram we saw what we think is a pretty rare scene here, a public girl fight. Some young woman who were not wearing headscarves and seemed dressed in pretty modern clothing all started yelling at each other. We wished we could understand them, some other women wearing head scarves got up and moved away from the. Then they started taking off their jewelry to fight and some men on the tram ran over to hold them off each other until the tram stopped. One girl had a knife I guess. We were kinda sad to get off at the next stop but they did stop the train and police got on to break up the fight.
Our couchsurf host was Simo and he lived in an apartment with his sister and friend. All three of them were so nice and so friendly and welcoming. We spent a lot of the next to days with them. They introduced to all their friends and we had dinner with them, they cooked traditional Morocco Tagine which was awesome. It was great to meet so many cool young Moroccans and ask them all our millions of questions.
We explored the city of Casablanca on foot and its a really pretty and interesting city. Some interesting things to note are that the women do not all wear headscarves but many do and some even have veils covering everything but their eyes which I find strange because nobody who knows them even knows what they look like, whatt? But many Moroccans wear cute modern clothes and have their hair out, the one consistent thing is that everyone dresses modestly. I have not seen a single Moroccan woman in shorts or a T shirt. There is no cleavage of any sort either. Basically all skin is covered except the head. The men dress up really nice for work and they sit in the millions of coffee shops drinking coffee, tea and chatting all the time, it looks really pleasant. You definitely do not see women doing this much, if at all. Also the women do not smoke, I have seen only 1 or 2 women smoking but mostly it is a male thing here. Another interesting thing is that pedestrians do not seem to have the right of way anywhere and crossing the streets here is next to impossible. People simply run through speeding traffic. As Simo put it, “if you wait to cross in Morocco, you don’t cross.” It is true, you simply have to run in front of oncoming traffic to cross a street. Lastly the people are so super friendly and willing to help us and speak in english and their language skills are impressive. Everyone speaks Airabic and French and often Berber and often English and Spanish too.
The most beautiful part of Casablanca was the Mosque which is the third largest in the world and absolutely breathtaking. We were even allowed to go in as non muslims which we were told in the only place we can do this in the country. The mosque can hold 20,000 men and 5,000 women in the balconies. The mosque is rather controversial at least among the young liberal Moroccans we have made friends with because it is so hugely expensive and was paid for with tax dollars for the city. The younger generation of Moroccans seems to be less religious.
We left yesterday and came to where we are now, in Marrakech. Our hostel is on a winding path in the middle of the medina. Marrakech is definitely really cool but it is the most touristy place here and there are a lot of foreigners here. Last night we went out to a night club with the guys who work at the hostel we are at. One of them told us he forgot his badge that he works with tourists and if the police stopped him and asked what he was doing with foreign women at night we would have to assure them that he worked at our hostel. So crazy. The club was insane, possibly the fanciest night club in Morocco. We showed up in dirty jeans and T shirts but were still somehow let in free. Everyone in there was dressed beautifully and we certainly stood out but we had a lot of fun and danced ALL night. The club is mostly full of Moroccan girls and foreign men. The guys from our hostel said the girls go to meet the wealthy foreign men… I did meet some nice girls in the bathroom and they tried to talk to me in French which I don’t speak but we still hung out and danced with them. I have to say I am surprising impressed with my french skills that are coming back to me. I think it’s because of all the Spanish I know actually, but when I read menus and stuff I generally understand them.
Today we explored all over Marrakech and I think tomorrow we are headed to the coast, to a city called Essouira, I can’t wait. Im having a lot of fun, so far Morocco is great. I started putting pics up on facebook and there is more to come. Until next time, xxMaxxSienna