THE KINGDOM OF MOROCCO (AL MAGHREB)
I have a different mind and a different way of behaving about most of the things in life…for example, I
don’t like to read about the new place that I’m travelling to… I like to go, reach there and feel everything without building any story in my mind in advance…I was boarding for Morocco and it was all about waiting for the experience to begin! Arabic music was playing in the background … There were round 10 Indians in the flight (I would be surprised if they were not there…!) The rest of the passengers were a mixture of different nationalities. I couldn’t get the feature of their nations right … I could see all sorts of faces in the flight!
I love being to new places… They don’t carry any memories, they are like blank canvas!
The people here spoke mainly two languages – Arabic and French. I landed in Casablanca which was not a very busy city, the beach looked okay, not that clear though … People were sweet and friendly, but I found the males of this city a little too forward and pushy; especially in and around down town … The Old Madinat area looked and felt like an old city of Iran (the difference was that the roads and sidewalks weren’t really clean as compared to Iran) and the market looked like Indian markets!!
I liked the Arabic music in the background. The roads were filled with the latest posh automobiles but sadly, I was not too impressed by Casablanca…
Next day, I took a train and in about 4.5 hours I was in “Marrakesh” … I hailed a cab to the hotel, we passed through narrow little streets where I felt uncomfortable with the eyes of the crowd, so I repeatedly asked the taxi driver about the address and where exactly he was going. Language barrier was a problem for me at that point! He dropped me at some corner and in Arabic and French told me to carry on from there as he couldn’t get the taxi further inside. Before I even knew it, my luggage was outside on the road and I was standing beside it!
I started walking , a little scared , that is when a young boy walked up to me, and (surprisingly) in English ,offered me his help…I could smell marijuana with each breath of his! While thinking, I happened to say it aloud to him- “You will be the last person on this planet from whom I’ll be taking any help!!!”
I decided that I had to put on my attack mode quickly and focus on pushing my luggage around that tiny street!!I started asking people directions to the address and by the time they finished checking me out, I was already 10 steps ahead! That is when one helpful soul said it was just around the corner!
I couldn’t see an entrance on any kind of hotel down there… All I saw was a house door where a little board said “Al Wada Spa Hotel”!!! I rang the bell and the door immediately opened …I wasn’t convinced yet, so I asked the guy there – “Is this a hotel?” he said “Viiiiiii”!
There was a beautiful seating area around a little pool in the middle of everything … Superb! Exotic! Buddha Bar was playing in the lobby area; and the irony was that, that specific track was a Farsi song! I got to my room and instantly fell in LOVE with it… Such is the magic of a prettily done up place with peaceful surroundings! The colorful tiles, blue flooring, red carpet, wooden bed and chair-table set, beautiful photo on the wall… added to it all! :) Yes I like Marrakesh :) I really really liked it!
Out of my window went the attack mode, and I wore my smile again! I left the hotel to walk around! I wanted to live like a local – dress up like them, eat like them and roam around like them! There was not a single male soul that didn’t pass a comment while passing by. Thankfully I don’t understand Arabic neither French, so they were lucky and safe :)
Women here wore long dresses with hoods attached. Some covered their heads, some did not and some wore the dresses with pants! The dresses were of any type of fabric but mostly subtle colors. As for the men, they mostly wore the long cloaks!
Everything was colorful here… The tiles, herbs, fabrics, bed covers and even the restaurants ! Everything that made a perfect ingredient to my kind of design aesthetics…. I started building something in the design part of my brain… The evolution of some designs which were not formed yet and still in the “feeling” stage of my mind!
Even though I am not a foodie, but I was hungry and needed to eat! I had the local dish – Tejine, which was so good that I still crave for it! I had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner i.e. – I had it as many times possible! I liked the food here … Tasty and simple, just right for the taste buds!
That’s one thing about me.. I stick to what I like. I can eat the same food again and again or listen to the favorite song again and again as many times and that drives people around me crazy!
Thanks Morocco! I will be back here next year on my bike when I’m I’ll be on my world ride and that is when I will cross your desert, feel your sunrise and mark your sunset…
Till then, adios 😉