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Monday, July 21, 2014

Alyssa Tender week 8, Rabat

I can’t believe my time in Morocco is finished. I have really enjoyed my time here. This city is finally starting to feel like home. I loved getting to meet so many different people in Rabat. Each night before break fast my host dad and I would walk around the market and he would introduce me to all of his friends. My host dad was born in the same area when he now lives so he knows everyone. When I see those same friends on the street when I was by myself they would always say hi and ask how I am doing.
 I am really going to miss a lot about Morocco. I will miss how everyone nice and welcoming everyone is, you can’t go into someone’s house without being offered food –which is always delicious. I will miss how random strangers will drop everything to help you, and the sense of community I gained living in the medina (the older, more historic part of Rabat). 
I will also miss the Hamams or public baths. Unless I am traveling, I usually go to the hamam every weekend. I usually spend 1.5-2 hours there; many Moroccans spend almost double that time. It’s fun because not only do you get super clean (you spend most of the time in the hamam scrubbing all the dead skin off your body) but the women all sit around talking about their lives and gossiping.  

One thing I will not miss is the taxis. I have had to take a grand taxi to work every day. They squeeze 4 people into the back of the taxi and two on the front seat. They are crazy and usually really hot because you can’t open the window. Even if there is a seat belt, and you have enough room to put it on, the driver won’t drive with you wearing it because he sees it as an insult to his driving ability. Since most people in the medina don’t have a car (there is nowhere to park it and most things are walking distance) the taxis are the most common way of transportation to other parts of the city. It was interesting to see how people in a different country get around. I like that we did not get any special treatment because we were not from Morocco, the organization expected us to get around Rabat the same way the people who lived there did: taxis.  

1 comment:

  1. Alyssa,

    I am so glad that you enjoyed your experience. I know how it feels to feel like you're just getting used to it! That's a good reason to come back! The public bath is definitely something that you will not see in the U.S. Good thing you took advantage of it when you could. Oh taxis... don't go to NYC anytime soon and you will be good. Safe travels!!