It’s only one story but I’ve heard/read on blogs so many other similar ones, not only from Egipt but also from Turkey, Tunesia and Morocco that it made me a little worried when I was going solo to Morocco. I was afraid I’d be constantly harrased which would lead me to hating Morocco – the country that was on the top of my dream destinations list. I’m really annoyed when someone tries to jolt me and doesn’t want to leave me alone and that’s what I kind of was expecting. Fortunately the reality was so much better than I expected and most of the people were extremely hospitable and welcoming.
In the week I’ve spent travelling solo in Morocco there were maybe 5 situations that I wanted to punch a guy in the face. It was mostly when they tried to charm me with words such as “nice ass”, “nice boobs” etc. Well, it didn’t do the trick, I wasn’t charmed at all, my reaction was quite the opposite. I didn’t say a thing, just grit my teeth and kept walking. When I heard “I love you” or “marry me” I found it only amusing. Every day I answered hundred or so “bonjours” and “ca va?” – that was actually the only way of conversation I reacted as it was pretty innocent and didn’t lead to offensive things to say.
There were two situations I found annoying yet amusing. One was in the hotel in Ouarzazate – there was a guy more or less in my age working in the reception and he tried so hard to get to know me better and maybe I’d actually talk to him a little bit if not the fact I was extremely tired on that day after 8 hours in the bus. But since he had all my details from the passport after the chceck in he found and added me on Facebook. Sure I didn’t accept his request (I didn’t even know his name, I recognized him from the picture and informations in his profile) but every time I saw him on the next day he just kept talking about FB and insisting I accept his request, he even told me to log in on his computer to do so. After 5th conversation like that I finally gave up and accepted his request – only to remove him from my friends couple of minutes later. But he didn’t even nottice…
Another FB related situation happened in Marrakech when I entered one of the spice shops to do some small shopping. After I was done the seller, a guy also more or less in my age, asked if he can add me on FB. His request left me speachless for couple of minutes as I didn’t expect such a stupic question comming. First of all I didn’t even know his name (nor he knew mine) and besides why would I do that? I just bought some spices from him and that already means I’m his friend? I don’t think so. When I tried to explain him that I don’t know him, I don’t add everyone on FB etc etc he seemed to be really disappointed and tried his chances with my phone number so we can talk – he didn’t get it as well. I still can’t really figure out what was in his head that he came up with these questions.
But other than that people were really awesome! I think only in Georgia I met such hospitable people! They showed me the way around and expected nothing in return. When I visited tanneries in Fes and wanted to tip the guys who showed and explained me everything he didn’t want my money (even if I read everywhere that the tip is kind of a must there). When I arrived in Marrakech in the evening to the bus station and I didn’t really know where I am (I expected another bus station) a young girl walked with me to the center so I wouldn’t get lost (and she was supposed to go in another direction). When I arrived to Merzouga at 5am (instead of 7-8am), it was freezing and no one in my hotel picked up the phone I was invited (and agreed as I had no other option) first for the tea and then to the other hotel to get some sleep – also for free. Or when my guide on the desert, Mustapha, hitchhiked with me, his friend (and his bike) to my hotel 10kms from Merzouga only so I wouldn’t have to pay for the taxi – the Berber family in the old van stoped and drove us directly to the hotel – no one of these people expected me to give something in return, even when I tried they didn’t want to take it. (Well, Mustapha and my day in the desert deserves a seperate post here that will come eventually). And these situations will stay in my memory, not the annoying pick up talk. Moroccan people were awesome and that’s what I’m gonna tell everyone!
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Have you ever had to deal with annoying people when travelling? Or did you experince such incredible hospitality somewhere in the world? Share you stories with me!
If you think of visiting Morocco or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!
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