Thoughts on Morocco I – the overwhelming pluses

After seven moths spent in Morocco, five of which living in the medina of Salé, and more than 15 cities visited, here are some thoughts on this experience.

Morocco has some of the friendliest people I’ve met. I was helped, hosted, and fed by complete strangers, in situations that rarely have a correspondence in Europe:

  • Neighbors bringing food & helping out – it happened in the new city and in the medina, our neighbors were very kind. They also helped when having to find food while I was sick, sending their children to some hidden shop in the medina. Or while having to deal with the intricacies of the counterfeited Jinkers water heater, fiding a good plumber, and dealing for the first time with changing gas tanks. Thanks Abdelhaq and Youssef in Fadesa!
  • Complete strangers inviting us to spend the night at their place, giving us food and a comfortable place to sleep. Thanks Firdaouss, Moustafa and Hind!
  • The policemen in Meknes, that invited us to share a tajine with them, while on duty. Too bad we could not take a picture to have as proof 🙂
  • The neighbors in the medina of Salé, that acted as close relatives, helping whenever we asked, and that called me on my mobile the second day after I left Morocco. Thank you so much!
  • Friends’ families that adopted me and my strange eating habits. It’s not easy being a vegetarian (+fish) in Morocco, but it’s manageable. Thanks Reda, mama-Reda, Amine, and…
  • … and all the friends in AIESEC and JCI that made my stay in Morocco so pleasant, thank you!
  • Random conversations with people – from bus stations to medina streets and tramway workers. It was incredible to listen and be engaged in conversations with total strangers, from all walks of life.
  • A private school that allowed me to spend my ‘other working hours’ using their internet and lobby to do online courses and talk to friends. Thanks ILCS, Abderrafi and Aicha!
  • The French teachers that helped me improve my language skills after I asked them to “politely correct my mistakes” 😀 Thanks Coralie!
  • The taxi driver that yelled something in Arabic while I was jogging, and something that I’d like to think was “Good job! Keep it up!”.

Language learning tip – set the pace

Such a great advice I received this evening: if you want to improve on a language, be the one that sets the pace. It’s easy to have a conversation in English, but if you want to learn French, try it with every opportunity. And do it over and over again, until the other person understands that you do want the conversation to stay in French, even though you have difficulty speaking it.