I don’t know if you have already seen the pictures on Facebook, but last week I got back from a a 6 day trip to Morocco. It was awesome, more than I expected. The worst part of the trip was all the time in the bus, I think it came out to about 60 hours in total spent on that bus. But it actually wasn’t as bad as it sounds because I did a lot of sleeping and they showed us several movies that I’ve been meaning to see.
So anyways, about the fun/not sitting on a bus moments. We started our trip in Fez, one of the larger cities in Morocco. We only had one full day there, and we spent it on a tour of the Medina (the huge market with narrow streets and tons of people). We went to several different types of shops including: leather, textile, ceramics, carpets and a pharmacy. They would first explain how everything is made, which was really cool, and then we had time to look around and buy if you wanted. It was kind of ineresting because in the culture which insist women cover their bodies (we were included in that), there were several sexual jokes made throughout the tours, we all had a few laughs. My favorite part of the tour was actually the time spent walking on the streets between stores, it felt more authentic because the stores were all definitely made for tourists. There were constantly people asking you to buy something and promising that they’d give you the best price. So basically the only moroccans we interacted with, both in the stores and on the streets, were trying to sell something.
But the next day we went to the Sahara Desert, which was so unbelievable. I kept picturing where I was on the world map, and it blew my mind. What was really cool was that my friends Casey and Christian from UCLA were there from other ISA groups so we got to catch up. Christian is actually studying in Morocco so it was really cool to hear about all of his experiences. He has also gotten pretty good at bargaining, and let us know that we payed way too much for everything we bought in Fez, so my stingy genes that always want the best deal were not happy about that.
The people that live in the desert are called Berbers, and while some of the ones we met also promised us “the best price” on things they were selling, we also got to talk to people who were not selling something, kind of funny that I was excited to talk to people without ulterior motives but that’s how it went. Many of them can speak around 5 languages but have never gone to school, they just learn from talking to tourists, meanwhile I am breaking my back over trying to learn only a second language haha. I loved our time in the dessert because it felt like we really got to experience their culture. On our last night they had a huge party with a traditional band playing drums and singing. All the berbers danced the night away, and I of course was right there with them. It was so much fun seeing the way they danced because it was so different from what I am used to, but don’t worry, you know I caught on quick! haha
My motivation for going on his trip was that it was a “once in a lifetime opportunity”, but actually I think I would like to go back. Maybe not just to Morocco but I think that trip definitely opened up some new possibilities for where I might take myself in the future. Regardless of what’s to come, I had an amazing time and I am so grateful to have had the chance to go.