Wandering Bard: Morocco

Posted: March 16, 2012 in Wandering Bard
Tags: , , ,

The winter weather was really getting me down. We got dumped on a week or two ago, but now it is WARM. Like, even warm by other people’s standards, not just Upstate NY standards. That doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy some pictures from much warmer places, though.

Today we’re headed off to Morocco. There is one main thing you need to know about Moroccans:

These people are awesome.

They have two official languages, Arabic and a native dialect. However, many of the inhabitants know French and/or English, as well. Spanish is also a popular one. If you’re a native Moroccan and don’t know AT LEAST three languages, you’re considered uneducated. *hangs head in shame* The majority of the people here are Muslim and quite religious. And, guess what? They LOVE Americans!

(On a serious note, obviously I am writing this in a general sense. I can’t possibly account for all of the people in this country, and I’m sure there are many who are not religious or don’t love Americans or only speak their native language and are quite fine with that. ALSO – if you’re reading this in anticipation of going to this country, please be very careful. The people that I met were quite taken with us – maybe a little too much. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the boys in this country are very smooth talkers. Be mindful of what you may be getting yourself into.)

Right. Where was I?

Oh, yes! Welcome to Morocco.

The first city we went to was called Rabat.

This little adventure is going to be different from the last two in that we aren’t visiting a specific monument today. This trip really introduced my group to the culture of Morocco, and I want to keep it that way. We did see some important sites, but I want to show you what really caught my eye. Sit back and check out the photos!

This palace was one of the first places that we went to. You have NO idea how long it took me to get a shot of it without any people standing in the way...

They also took us to a tannery, which was actually pretty fascinating. They gave up a sprig of mint to sniff in case the smell got too bad.

Can I get a Coca-Cola PLEASE?

This is called the "Medina" or city. Most of the streets are covered and the entire place is just a labyrinth of alleyways. There is no map of it - I doubt that anyone would know enough of the streets to be able to create one.

Here's what a typical street looks like. Pretty simple, but they were all so beautiful! You could only see just a slice of sky between the top of the buildings.

Don't be fooled. Just because it says "dentist" doesn't mean that they were formally trained. Knowledge of the "craft" was often passed down from father to son. Oh, and if they were having a slow day? They'd also perform circumcisions...

We also went to a place that made all sorts of mosaics. This shop was HUGE. And I made it through it without breaking a single thing. 😉

American culture is everywhere over there, but it's especially obvious with the younger generation. The boys could've fit right in over here in the States - they wore Nikes and polos and spoke English.

Just as we were entering an old fort, there was a man sitting on the steps selling baby chickens. And as soon as he saw that we were American...

...he pulled the top off of these. YES those are real, and YES they are alive. Although the idea of someone doing this to these chicks makes me sad, you can't deny that a purple chicken would be pretty neat to look at...

Have you ever been to a foreign country that was vastly different than your own? Did you have a good experience or a bad experience? Have you ever been pleasantly surprised once you got there? What did you learn?

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Comments
  1. All I can say is that I’m very glad my dentist doesn’t also perform circumcisions…

  2. Piper Bayard says:

    Love the pictures.

    As for the chicks, when I was a girl, the local dime store sold dyed baby chickens like that at Easter. We didn’t get any, but I knew people who did. They never lived long.

    But what a beautiful country! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Karen Rought says:

      Thanks! I’m surprised that they turned out so well because this was one of the countries where we (my best friend and I) had a crappier camera.

      I had a feeling that they would die pretty quickly. I’m not even sure why he would try to sell them to us anyway – we wouldn’t exactly be able to sneak them through customs, LOL.

      Thanks for commenting! Really appreciate it. 🙂

  3. Stacy Green says:

    Great pictures! I can’t complain about the weather because it’s beautiful here. Thanks for sharing with us:)

  4. ddog13 says:

    What an awesome post! I hear that the Moroccans pour their tea with their hand a far way up from the cup. I didn’t know that you live in New York. I recently moved to California, but I was Jersey born. East cost all the way:)

    • Karen Rought says:

      Thanks! I don’t remember that, but it’s more than possible. They drink a lot of tea, at least. I remember trying their signature mint tea and it totally grossed me out. But, then again, I hate pretty much anything with mint, so I should’ve known.

      I have family in Jersey. We don’t talk about them, though….

      • ddog13 says:

        They do love their tea. And Jersey has turned many people nuts, it seems. Jersey Shore and the stereotypes it brings…erg. Oh, this is completely random, but I need a new book to read. Any recommendations? I want to avoid high fantasy series, because I’m working on The Wheel of Time right now, so a good single book would be great

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