Moroccan Me Crazy
Haha see what I did there?
Last weekend at this time I was making my way through Andalusia (the south of Spain) to catch a ferry out of Tarifa to Tangier, Morocco for the weekend. While ideally it would have been a lot easier to just buy one of Ryan Air's cheap 40 something euro tickets to Morocco I figured the ferry had to be a part of the experience. Right? Almost right. While the ride there was beautiful, mostly because I was beyond excited that I was spending my weekend hopping over to another continent (and getting more stamps on my passport, wooo!), the ride back was probably my worst nightmare. I have this longstanding hatred towards rough boat rides, because being from an island, I spent way too much of my childhood on those unpleasantly rough boat rides each time I needed to hop over to a neighboring island. Longest 45 minutes of my life, seriously. But nevertheless, I still enjoyed the rest of my weekend in Africa's northern most country. Hey, you can't really be that upset when you get to check off 2 of your bucket list items in one day (check my IG post about it).
Bucket List: Ride a Camel on a beach- check!
Plus the dirt cheap gelato in front of my hotel can pretty much fix any problem, yum. I mean seriously 1 euro for a scoop of gelato?! Definitely returned one too many times.
One of my most favorite parts about traveling is seeing all the differences a new place I am visiting has. Whether it is the food, the culture or just simply the way people carry themselves, I am always amused by how different a place can be from what I am used to. While Morocco may be in Africa, it is still pretty close to Spain but from what I've experience, a world of difference. Heres why:
- They only speak French and Arabic
Unless you go to the Spanish quarter, most of Tangier only speaks French and Arabic. I never experienced the language barrier problem when I arrived in Madrid because even though I was not fluent in Spanish, I could still make out most of what they were trying to tell me. It was not until I wanted to order my lunch that I realized how difficult a language barrier can be. Everything, even the most simplest things can be extremely difficult to get across when the other party has no idea what you are saying and vice versa. I had to scrape together the very little French I knew, which did not help much but thank goodness for Parlez-vous anglais?
Chawarma (it was a struggle ordering this, but every bite was worth the struggle)
2. There are virtually no street lights or crosswalks for that matter
This was probably one of the biggest things that I first noticed. No streetlights. No crosswalks. No lines on the street. I got anxiety just by looking at the cars maneuver their way through daily traffic (which they seemed to accomplish so seamlessly). It was a thrill every time I had to cross the street for my gelato, pretty sure I almost got run over 1, 2, 3 or 7 times.
Risked my life multiple times for this, no regrets
3. Cats are EVERYWHERE
For all my cat-loving friends (Elaina this is for you) Morocco is the place to be. Everywhere I turned, on every corner and every street, I saw a cat. I was told by a tour guide that this is because when the economy crashed people could no longer afford to care for their cats so they let them out on the streets. This was pretty sad to hear, but it definitely made me realize how much more America cares for our furry friends.
There was a cat in the corner before I took this picture
4. Bread is such a huge part of their diet
I never thought the day would come but, I am officially sick of bread. After a weekend of pretty much having some form of bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I cringe at the thought of having another sandwich (which I had to get over because sandwiches are a staple in every European's diet). I have never craved for a salad so much until now. How healthy
Before this meal I had a whole lot of bread- Lamb Kebabs
5. Locals are very pushy
I do not know if it is because most of the people in Morocco make their money off of selling various products on the street or if they are just generally pushy people, but I have never been pressured into buying things so much in my life until this point. And I've definitely been to my fair share of markets. Especially when I made my way to Chefchauoen (The Blue City) every person I passed was trying to sell me something. I may or may not have caved.
One of the many stores I walked into- they may or may not have convinced me to buy a cashmere scarf
Then I learned how to do the scarf thing myself
6. You cannot drink from the tap
Remember Charlotte from Sex and the City on their trip to Mexico? Yup, that was basically me in regards to drinking the water. I had been warned that the water was not safe so naturally I was paranoid about the water even touching my lips. Well, I was really tired one day and accidentally washed my mouth with sink water (you know normal) after brushing my teeth. Spoiler: I did not die.
Beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea A view of the Blue City from the mountains
7. Moroccan Mint Tea
Need I say more? Anyone that has me on snapchat (@xoxopaula) has seen the one too many pictures I have taken of the Moroccan Mint Tea aka the love of my life. I love tea. I love mint. And now I am in love with Moroccan Mint. Sorry Teavana. Moroccan Mint Tea is the perfect mix between minty and sweet, it is seriously heavenly with every sip. Moroccan Mint Tea-the love of my life
Well I am currently sitting in a Brussels airport on my way to my next adventure, keep up with my instagram if you want to see where I am off to next!
Hasta la próxima vez,