A very observant person asked me one day if have ever visited Morocco. Surprised I asked him how do you know? And the person replied that I had a style that sometimes reminded him of the Oriental style … The truth is that I loved the oriental clothing style, djelabas, long dresses, tunics, sarouel, scarves ect. .. Beyond clothing I also appreciate the oriental gastronomy , their handcrafts, their architectural style …, the fragrances, the spices … the dance…. basically I like everything about Arab countries.
I remember that I used to take the Royal Air Maroc airline during my trips from Paris to Dakar only for the stopover in Mohamed V aiport….I used to choose the trip with the longuest stopover and it was never boring. And I used this time just to visit the shops inside the aiport… Inwardly I was telling myself that I would come one day and visit the country. But visiting Morocco in one trip or even two is impossible ! There is too much things to see and every city of Morocco is Particular.
I have two experiences in Casablanca. The first one lasted 5 days and left me very skeptical. The second, of two weeks allowed me to lift some aprioris. I will try to summarize all in the next posts.
During my first stay in Morocco, Marrakech was my final destination but I made a jump to Casablanca to see my best friend, the craziest! I had’nt seen her for about 4 years. At least I had to check the state of her madness ….
She found me a driver who picked me up at the airport . For the first time I was outside the airport !!! The trip from the airport to the city was nice and quiet. The landscape was beautiful . Palm groves, large isolated residences with special architecture … that was exactly the view from the plane.
My joy was short-lived, once inside the city, the beautiful view have been replaced by buildings and traffic, with too much crowd… the whole was a little bit disturbing.
My anxiety disappeared when I saw my friend. We started to plan activities for my stay: culinary tour, shopping, hammam, beauty, visits …. And her madness had undeniably intensified … Guinean Madness + Moroccan madness resulted to an explosive mixture.
The feast that welcomed me was worthy of the big events. The foodie in me was dancing … I’ll talk about the Moroccan gastronomy in the next posts…it’s a complete book.
Then we went out in the afternoon to take a walk downtown . But I still had the same feeling of suffocating. Too many buildings, too big , and then all the big chains KFC, McDonald, Burger King …. I remember telling her that I felt like in Paris while I was coming from Paris ….Then she explained me that Casablanca was a business city ; the economic capital of Morocco. Honestly I was very impatient to leave Casablanca …
During the 5 days we spent together she took me to the nooks and crannies of Casa. The Guinean Lady had become in 4 years a Moroccan Lady in her element.
She gave me some tips to survive in Casablanca :
– Always greet before starting a conversation : “Aslamaaaa”
– When you talk to someone you don’t know, for exemple to ask your way in the street you can call him “Khoya” ( brother ) or “Akhti” ( sister).
– When you speak try to be Moroccan like…. they will appreciate your effort and discussion will be natural… “Aslamaaa Khoya where is the Mohamed V place?”
– Don’t hesitate to ask your way when you are lost: Morrocan are very avalaible
– Don’t be surprised also to get lost after some explanations …yeah
– You can negociate the Taxis ( Taxis is a complete story) and if you find the price expensive you can say “Bseeeef “( it’s too much)
– In the Taxi when you arrive at your destination you say “Saaaaafi” ( it’s okay) or the taxi will take you to the end of the world…..
– “Bseeef” and “Saafi” are pronounced very nonchalantly 😂😂
– Don’t forget the “Shoukrane” (Thank you) at the end
– They also like to say “Mashi Mushkil”, meaning no problems
– Very often “Mashi Mushkil” means the problem is not far….😂😂😂😂
My second experience was a family vacation with two children. Forget the eternal question whether we will travel next time with children or not 😫 . I rediscovered Casa, I loved Casa, I would definitely visit again and again … I was lucky to be already briefed by the expert.
In two stays I have a lot to say about what I saw or experienced. I will talk about Casablanca , Marrakesh, gastronomy, beauty , transports, handcrafts, and also positive and negative experiences.