Morocco is high up on the bucket list of many keen travelers. The country has a certain allure that you don’t find in practically any other place on the continent, with the possible exception of Egypt.
But genuinely knowing the country is a challenge. The people who live there are culturally distinct from anywhere in the west. Morocco has its feel and values. Even the way that the cities are arranged is so different from what we know elsewhere.
The best way to learn about this exciting place is by what the people who live there say. Moroccon friends can provide fascinating insights.
People Go To The Pharmacist When They’re Sick
Doctors in Morocco are expensive and tough to find. Most locals, therefore, don’t travel to their general practitioner unless it’s something awful. Usually, they hop down to the local medina, visit the pharmacist, tell them what’s wrong, and pick up the necessary medication.
The Best Way To See The Country Is As A Group
While Morocco attracts solo travelers and couples, the best way to see the country is as a group. Morocco small group tours take you on an adventure, visiting all of the essential historical sites, sampling the food, and much more.
Morocco is a country with a social feel. Everyone does stuff together. Having four or five of you, therefore, is the ideal way to experience what the country has to offer.
Sheep Are Everywhere
When you think of Morocco, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Probably not an idyllic New Zealand countryside scene with flocks of sheep munching on the lush grass.
Well, if you travel to Morocco in the early spring, this is precisely what you’ll find. While the sheep aren’t enclosed in traditional fencing, as you might find in some developed countries, you do have to do a double-take. It’s strange seeing these herd animals grazing as if they’re munching on grass in the Yorkshire Dales.
Of course, the sheep aren’t there for fun. Locals love munching on them. Most tagines you find around the country are loaded with lamb, most of it reared locally.
What’s more, nothing goes to waste. Don’t be surprised to find organ meats on offer as you make your way around the country.
People Call Products By Their Brand Name
Do people speak “Moroccan” in Morocco? Not quite. The local dialect – if that’s what it should be called – is a mixture between Arabic and French due to the various groups of people who settled in the area historically.
This, however, creates something of an interesting effect – the local language simply hasn’t had time to catch up and create new words for all the products arriving in the country over the last one hundred years.
Sometimes people refer to vacuum cleaners as “Hoovers” in western countries. In Morocco, it’s like this for loads of things. Tampons are called “Always,” yogurt is Danone, and tissues are Kleenex. There might be a local word for these things, but you’ll never hear it – at least according to people who live there.
People Don’t Stop, Look And Listen When Crossing The Road
Traffic safety isn’t high on the list of concerns of people who live in Morocco. While a two-tone object hurtling towards you at forty miles per hour might be dangerous, it doesn’t seem to phase the locals.
Kids in Morocco don’t have the dangers of the road beaten into them while they’re young. What’s more, the country doesn’t have multi-generational universal car ownership. A lot of people work and live locally, and so don’t have much need for the extra expense. The society’s attitude towards motorized transport is, therefore, very different. Pedestrians assume that they have the right of way.
People Expect You To Be Late
Being punctual is essential in the west. If you show up late, there’s something wrong with your time-keeping. Your friends will get angry with you, and your boss will fire you.
Things are different, however, in Morocco. Nobody cares if you’re late for a social gathering. In fact, it’s sort of expected of you. Even being an hour late is all part of the experience. Time isn’t so absolute in the culture, so if you are planning a trip out with locals, take your time.
They Eat Couscous A Lot, But Mainly On Friday
Couscous is a staple of the Moroccan diet, but it’s not necessarily daily fare. Most families eat these tiny durum wheat semolina balls on a Friday. It’s a bookend for a busy week.