I’m in Casablanca attempting to upload some pictures. I found the hostel here without too much problem and like Rabat, people here are much less in your face. Fes, while beautiful and interesting, was a terrible place to begin in Morocco. The touts and thieves and ever present people who want to sucker you into “making a business” or sell you a too expensive something or other are non-stop and I quickly developed an aversion to talking to Moroccans there because it always meant having to say no thank you.
I’m thankful that Hanane and her family provided me respite from this tiresome business and showed me the heart of Morocco. From visiting the Medina with her brother Mohammad and then going to his rather pastoral house to eat what we had just bought with his wife Samina and son Amin to dancing with the family, to walking and trying to talk with Abubab, the family’s hired shepherd (his name is actually Laboub but I misss heard and now he is Abu Bob to everyone, literally father of the door), to eating pizza with Hanane on Valentine’s day (she picked out pizza with no prodding from me- is the girl perfect for me or what?) to laughing with Zahara and Fatima, to throwing stones with Amin, and to faux fighting with Fouad, I learned much about life in Sefrou:and I will be going back. Here is the main reason why:
Rabat was a nice break. As mentioned before, I did some sight seeing, met some interesting people, and even looked at some Australian girls lonely planet. It seems I am doing alright without a guide book, I haven’t missed much and have learned some valuable lessons along the way. For instance: don’t eat or offer money with the left hand unless you want to insult someone and make yourself look gross. I can use squat toilets with the best of them now. And my Arabic is improving by leaps and bounds… I can actually say things now and am able to distinguish words if not understand the meaning of most of them. I visited HananeÃ¹s class one day before I left and was able to make basic conversation with some of her very nice students in Arabic. They speak much better English than I speak Arabic, but I learn shweeah shweeah.
Here are a few pictures from Rabat.
More are here but my camera battery just died…