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A short stay in Morocco

Sep 4

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9/4/2010 1:33 PM  RssIcon

 A short stay in Morocco by Raji Teslim Olakunle

 I arrived in Morocco around 10:30 am local time. The flight from Murtala Muhammad International Airport to Mohammad v international airport was about four hours long. It wasn't so bad, though. There was nobody sitting next to me; though a nice elderly Arab lady sat two seats away. The charter flight that I flew on was run by an Arabian airline, and it seemed that the majority of the passengers were Arab-speaking. When we were taking off from Lagos, all of the announcements were in both Arabic and English, but the frequency of the English announcements seemed to decline as we got farther and farther away from Nigeria.
Customs were amazingly simple. I breezed right though, and emerged into the center of the Mohammad v international airport. I was a bit disoriented at first. There I was, outside Nigeria for the first time, and I didn't have even the beginnings of a plan. I changed some money and found out how to get into Casablanca properly. I took a taxi into the city center of Casablanca; a journey of about 25kms from the International Airport. I finally managed to figure out that the youth hostel I wanted to go to was near, and after some confusion, managed to get to the area.
As I was looking for the hostel, a man took one glance at me and pointed across the street. Wearing my big backpack and fumbling through my guidebook, I guess it was pretty obvious what I was looking for. It turned out that the hostel was full, but the guy at the desk was sending people to another Moroccan hostel. When I was making a reservation, he accidentally thought that I was with two Angolans who were at the desk with me. I've been the honorary third Angolan ever since. Their names are Trinity and Kudungu. They are both really nice, and speak English quite well, much better than I speak Portuguese, anyway. I've decided that Portuguese is an impossible language. Not only can I not understand a word, I can't even make the sounds you need to speak the language. While they are quite fluent in English, they don't know much slang, and are delighted whenever I teach them something like the proper pronunciation of the word cool.
For whatever reason, Trinity is completely fascinated by the phrase inversely proportional. She keeps trying to find things that are inversely proportional to each other just so that she can say the words. Even though they speak English perfectly well, they still have this annoying habit of speaking Portuguese in my presence. Whenever they do this, I launch into my best impersonation of the Portuguese chef to indicate that I have no idea what they are saying. Lately, they've gotten even sneakier, and will insert my name randomly into a Portuguese conversation to make it seem as though they are talking about me. The same day that I arrived, the Angolans and I went sightseeing. According to my biological clock, it was night, but it was barely afternoon in Casablanca. I figured the best way to adjust was to stay awake until local night time.
We went first to the Hassan II mosque, where I took a brilliant picture of my camera strap. We then took random busses all over town, miraculously ending up at the Casablanca twin centre. We climbed up to about the 28th floor for a great view of Casablanca. We then went to find someplace to eat. We ended up walking around and found a little restaurant. We all ordered the Menu; a fixed price meal including entree (main course) and dessert. I had a Moroccan couscous entree, and kaab el ghzal for dessert. The food was quite good.
After dinner, we went to the catholic cathedral (Cathedrale Sacre-Coeur). It is an amazing church, I learnt it’s a cultural center; it’s very beautiful. On the way back, Kudungu was accosted by a somewhat lost Togolese, and none of our combined language skills could figure out exactly what he wanted. Finally, we got back to the hostel around 12:30am. It was great to go to sleep. I hadn't yet slept since arriving in Casablanca and had been up for a good 26 hours at this point. Despite my long first day in Casablanca, I got up at 8:00am in the morning and had the complimentary hostel breakfast. Along with my Angolan friends.
I grabbed a taxi to the Port of Casablanca; it was also an amazing view; it’s a really, really large port. That afternoon, we took a taxi back to the hostel, helping a couple of recently arrived Ghanaians get their bearings along the way. I got up at 7:30am the following morning, had breakfast, then called my mum to let her know that I would be leaving morocco that day; I said goodbye to Trinity and Kudungu. It would have been nice to stay with them some more as I really liked them, but I have to take my vacation, not theirs. And so at about a quarter to 9am I got back to Mohammad v international airport, Casablanca, Morocco and then boarded a flight to Algeria. This was my visit to Morocco!

7 comment(s) so far...


Re: A short stay in Morocco

Nice. Though brief, am sure you had a nice time.

By Mustapha aguye on   9/6/2010 4:16 PM

Re: A short stay in Morocco

Morocco! Nice adventure.

By Nafisah bola on   9/6/2010 4:16 PM

Re: A short stay in Morocco


By Hameed temitope on   9/6/2010 4:22 PM

Re: A short stay in Morocco

Didn't know about the catholic cathedral before. Nice write up

By bashir ademola on   9/6/2010 4:34 PM

Re: A short stay in Morocco

What is a moroccan couscous?

By Joseph john on   9/6/2010 9:51 PM

Re: A short stay in Morocco

Check this post about
Moroccan couscous

By admin on   9/6/2010 9:53 PM

Re: A short stay in Morocco

Nicely written!

By Adetoro Taofiq on   9/9/2010 7:50 PM

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It was just the other night that I was paging through my album, the photos depicting the utter chaos of the market streets and the beautiful colors on display. It was a visual spectacle. The food was a gastronomic spectacle. My personal favorite dish while visiting Morocco was the lamb tagine with dates. The tenderness of the lamb coupled with the sweetness of the dates was a mere delight and surprise to my palate. Thank you for helping me relive my Morocco experience. Morocco is a must-see travel destination and for more information visit for some great travel tips and facts about Morocco.
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