Random tips and observations from Morocco

cafe life in Morocco

1) If you buy a computer or refrigerator (or any other high ticket item) make sure that the insides match the outsides. This also applies to things like sealed cameras in boxes and cellphones…the sim card or memory card will likely be gone and the quality parts will be switched for cheap Chinese ones. All shopping is at your own risk.

2) If it seems like people are swerving their cars at you or swerving towards you as they walk towards you, they are. Same goes for shopping carts if you go to a supermarket. I haven’t figured this one out yet, but it’s not my imagination. My guess is that it has something to do with living in crowded houses.

3) If you are an obvious foreigner, meeting anyone’s eyes or smiling at them is the same as saying “Hey, why don’t you try to sell me something or at least ask me for money.” Those who don’t have anything to sell or need to beg will just look confused and start to speak to you in whatever they think your native language is until they figure out some way to profit from your foolishness at meeting someone’s eyes or smiling or just trying to be nice.

4) Cues (lines) in Morocco should be shaped like a funnel because the straight line cue never ever and positively never works. Even if someone with a good head on their shoulders arranges people into a line, the next person to come in simply walks forward to fill the empty space. Every single time. You either crowd and press forward or you get nowhere…this sort of explains the swerving I mentioned above.

5) Moroccan students study nearly continuously six days a week and manage to learn little because of the way classes are taught and because no one ever takes the time to teach them the value of good study habits. If a Moroccan student asks you to help with their homework, they are really asking you to do it for them. Cheating is considered acceptable, plagarism is unknown as a concept, and critical thinking is discouraged. Being creative and thinking outside the box are not focused upon. There are no art classes, music classes, or drama clubs in schools. In fact, there aren’t even athletics or home economics. They do however speak English, French, and Arabic nearly fluently and manage to figure out how to chat on MSN or do anything on Facebook.

6) Because of everything in number 5, there are not really any hobbies. When I ask my students their hobbies they say either studying, football (soccer) with friends, or watching TV. Many of them also list sleeping as a hobby.

7) People in Morocco generally don’t read very much except religious books, newspapers, and small cookbooks.

8) Men are often in a hurry to get someplace in Morocco. That place is the cafe where they sit for seven hours having one cup of coffee and watching football on the TV.

9) From about 1 hour after dark until about the time the sun rises, it’s not safe for women to be out alone because all those young guys with no hobbies and no money to spend their day getting tired in the cafes are wandering around looking for women to harrass, that is, it seems, the number one hobby of young men in Morocco.

10) People in Morocco don’t wait for other people to finish speaking before they start to talk, it’s a volume culture. If you talk louder than the other person or people than it’s your turn. As such whispering in Morocco isn’t something you hear much of, as such it makes going to the movies, a play, a concert or a performance of any kind incredibly annoying.

11) Since the cafes are filled with men who don’t do anything but sit there and the streets are filled with young men who are looking for women to harass and since no one reads or has hobbies and people can’t wait in lines properly always swerve towards you with cars, carts, and big fat cow bodies and every performance is ruined by loud voices and polite exchange of ideas is not really possible…I am sitting here writing these random tips and observations about Morocco.


Vago Damitio

Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

One thought on “Random tips and observations from Morocco

  • May 25, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Oh my gosh-this is information you’d never get in a travel guide. Good tips to know if traveling there….guess you have to be fast on your feet!

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