Saturday, April 12, 2008

Welcome to Morocco, The Final Installment

April 7. Drinking avocado juice in rainy Casablanca. 2 pm.

It would rain on our last day in Morocco. How fitting. I think it always rains on days that I leave places I love. It happened with France last year too. It's good. It washes me clean and prepares me for the next place, while letting me indulge in a little self-pity, sorrow, and grey nostalgia.

Now we're back in Casablanca, after the bus ride from hell. We checked into the same hotel as our first night in Maroc...I like to bring things full-circle. Today we had breakfast in the fruit market and are taking it easy in the city. Jill and Claire are going to see a movie this afternoon, because there are no theaters in Senegal. I will do what I do best- explore.
Learning more about my traveling style right now. Putting myself on a tight budget worked, but i had to sacrifice some things, like full meals. I'm learning to be flexible and not to over-plan and to live for Quality, not Quantity. I may not ever be back in Morocco again, so i do want to take advantage, but I am really not meant for full-out tourism, and dont think I ever will be. I want to do more hiking and meeting people and wandering off the beaten path and learning the local language and joking and staying out late and getting up early and reflecting and listening to stories and not being afraid. This time around was incredible and indescribable, with two lovely and amazing women.

I have been surprised by many things in Maroc:

1. The amount of English spoken here is pretty astounding, especially coming from Senegal. I got to practice my Arabic, but many Moroccans spoke English to us right away.
2. There are so many ¨dentists¨ in this country! Especially in Mkch, there would be a sign for a dentist's office practically every 50 meters. Our theory is that it is really code for something else, like a liquor store, prohibition-style.
3. Coming from months in West Africa, I've been suprised at the level of development here and all the bright colors. Desormais,to me, Morocco is blue for the ocean and open doors, yellow for the sun and desert, red for the crazy nights, and green for Islam.
4. I was suprised to find that I didnt really like Marrakech like I thought I would. From what I had read before, the city held such mystery and allure to me. It certainly was the Noise and Color that I thought it would be, but more. Too touristy. It will be lovely to hike in the surrounding countryside.

Reactions? Final thoughts?
Morocco is just....indescribable
An amazing blessing and gift that I will not ever forget. Made possible by many generous people. All of this I will pay forward someday, hopefully to wide-eyed travelers like me. I absolutely need to come back and do some hiking in the Atlas Mountains. I want to learn more Arabic and want to decorate my house Moroccan-style. Thank you for the lovely-jovely time. Shukran beezef.

Finally, here are all the photos from Morocco. Look at the Albums ¨Morocco and Favorites¨ 1, 2, and 3. There are some of my favorite Senegal pictures mixed in, too. Or else, check my facebook for 4 albums.

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