I cannot believe how many butt cheeks I’ve seen in less than 24 hours. Goodbye modest Morocco, hello sensual Spain! Maybe my 3 weeks in Morocco, a Muslim country with a high standard of modesty has sensitized me… but I’m seeing a whole lot of fashionista butt cheek, and all I have to say is: Nice tan! (okay, I have other things to say but I’ll save it for another article)
Morocco was a beautiful experience that has touched me deeply in some permanent ways. I feel spiritually inspired, socially engaged, and excited to be headed to more familiar territory. For such a small planet we really live in different worlds. There are an endless amount of stories that can come from this experience, but to start I want to share with you 18 important travel tips for westerners heading to Morocco.
1. Don’t be rude, but don’t be afraid to say no.
2. Learn basic greetings in Arabic and French, as well as basic questions.
3. Pack diarrheal medication, pepto, motion sickness medication, and treatment for rashes, bug bites, and burns.
4. If someone wants to “show you their shop”, that may mean they want you to pay them for a tour of someone else’s shop.
5. If it can have sugar, it does have sugar… And maybe milk. If you are sensitive to this, then be sure to check… And maybe cook for yourself.
6. Take care of the people who take care of you, this will keep you on the right side of Allah
7. Pack a spray bottle in case the water is mysteriously not working and you need a shower.
8. Don’t look too wealthy, it will only make your trip more stressful.
9. Skin is more provocative than skin tight clothing. Dress conservatively and comfortably.
10. Compassion is grand, but remember that it’s not your job to pay every citizen of Morocco, no matter how much guilt they inspire in you.
11. A taxi in morocco may have four passenger seats, but will end up with 6 passengers. (2 in the front seat, and 4 in the back)
12. The brotherhood is strong in Morocco, but the sisterhood is stronger. If you are a woman traveling in morocco and need help, your girls got your back.
13. Get ready to kiss and be kissed! Many men won’t touch, or speak to a woman, but greet other men with at least three kisses and a long embrace. Women generally kiss each other 3-4 times upon greeting as well.
14. Not all businesses are woman-friendly. I don’t think you’d be stoned or anything, but respecting the local normal definitely can have you feel more comfortable and secure.
15. If you’re engrossed in conversation as you walk, it’s much easier to shake off, or ignore the unofficial tour guides trying to force their services on you.
16. If you want to eat Vegan in Morocco, you will likely have to be rude at least once. Moroccan people take their hospitality very seriously, and desire to make you feel welcome and at home. Denying their offering of bread, cheese, butter, milk, fried sugar cookie, etc. Is difficult to explain, and even more difficult for them to understand.
17. The men’s restrooms generally have longer lines than the women’s…. Plan your pee breaks accordingly.
18. Ramadan happens once every year. This is a holiday of daytime fasting, and it’s offensive to smoke, eat, or drink anything in public until after the time of the break-fast. Make sure you know if you’re heading to a Morocco during Ramadan.
For pictures of beautiful Morocco (at least the parts that we were fortunate enough to visit) check out my facebook photo albums.
A little Prayer:
May the spirit of gratitude pervade our experiences, especially when we find ourselves lost, scared, confused and in need. May the spirit of gratitude show us the path to wholeness, and dynamic peace.