Morocco

Trip Start Jun 10, 2012
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80
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Trip End Aug 17, 2013


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Flag of Morocco  ,
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

After reading some things online, we decided to do a day tour in Tangier, Morocco instead of going on our own. The reason for that was because we read that if you're not in a tour, people will harass you and not leave, becoming your "tour guide." Then afterwards they will demand money for their harassment.
It is an interesting thing to take the ferry fron Spain to Morocco. Here's how it goes: the Atlantic Ocean is on your right, the Mediterranean Sea is on your left, behind you is Europe, and in front of you is Africa. The ferry ride was 45 minutes long and Soph met some girls her age. Afterwards we did our tour, which I can't say I liked very much. They first took us to a camel riding place. The camels looked exhausted and I could tell they were probably abused to obey commands. I rode a camel but it ended up being no longer than 20 seconds. Then we walked over to a little square where there was a snake charmer. At first I was excited about this, because I always picture Morocco with the snake charmers playing creepy music and people riding camels around the streets. This guy wasn't even a real snake charmer! At first, he took a black cobra out of a box and tossed it on the ground. He looked scared of the cobra though. All he did was bat it around with his hand a little before switching it out with a different black snake. He was trying to be sneaky about it but I could tell when he switched. And this snake didn't even have a fan around its face like a cobra. So I guess I didn't get to see a snake charmer in Morocco, but at least I did already see one in Sri Lanka (that did it how you always picture it: playing music as the snake rises out of the box). We walked to the Kasba (Casbah), while the whole time people were in our faces trying to sell us stuff. The Casbah is like the old city part of Tangier that used to be a fortress. I had never heard of it, but I guess there is a famous song called "Rock the Casbah." We walked in through the keyhole entrance and the tour just took us around the area. Throughout our whole tour we passed through a few markets that sold things like fresh veggies and fruits, and raw butchered meat. Surprisingly, the meat didn't smell one bit. They didn't even have fridges anywhere in Morocco (there were also community ovens) so it seems like it should smell really bad.
We went to lunch at a cool restaurant with decorated walls and cushions to sit on. I tried Moroccan tea, which is like mint tea loaded with sugar. When the other people tried the meat, they said it wasn't cooked. We had read online that everyone gets sick when they go to Morocco. No wonder! They eat uncooked meat that has been sitting out unfrigerated in a market. A person in our tour asked a restaurant guy to bring them cooked meat. When he came with the meat, he had a chicken bone that looked like it was completely eaten off except for a tiny bit at the end.
The last parts of our tour were going to an herbal place and a carpet demonstration. At the herbal place, they showed us many natural Moroccan products and tried to sell them to us. Since we were in Morocco, I decided to get some Moroccan oil. I always hear at home about how it is the best thing for your hair. I thought it was supposed to be dark but the thing I got was light colored. There was another person who wanted to get some also, and since the people were doing a buy two-get one free deal, we each got one and he gave me the third. Soph and I also got a thing of "perfume." Usually perfume has alcohol in it to make it wet, but this was dry perfume. They're like little cubes that you just rub on your wrists. They were made of sandalwood and some other things, and smelled really sweet and good.
When we walked back towards the ferry, tons of aggressive people were pushing for us to buy stuff. I knew how to handle it because I had been to other countries like that (though none were as bad as Morocco) but I could tell some people were getting really stressed. One guy came up to us saying "your boat is over there," in a way like he expected a tip for telling us that obvious information. When we finally got back to our hotel it was late at night.
I think most of the aggressive people gathered around the areas where tours go. We witnessed an almost-happening fist fight between a tourist and a local. My guess is that the local forced themselves to be the tourist's guide, then the tourist wouldn't pay when they demanded money. I didn't have a very great experience in Morocco, but I hope that other people who visit will.
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