Things I like about Morocco, having spent time in Spain

Posted by sue on January 7th, 2007

We left Fez this morning, and we’re in Casablanca for the next day and a half, preparing for our flight to Cairo on Tuesday. I’ve been sick for over a week (a succession of colds/flus, I think, because just when I think I might get better, I get worse again), so I’m ready to get the heck out of this country. Still, there are some warm and fuzzy thoughts about Morocco:

•Cheap taxis. We found that in Marrakesh, Casablanca, and Tangier, you have to argue with cab drivers to get them not to overcharge you too much, but even their “gouging” prices end up less than the metered pricing in Spanish cities. In Fez we’re particularly fortunate in that the cab drivers almost always just use their meters and charge you what the meter says, so most cab rides cost under $1.

•Non-alcoholic beverages. I’ve come to love Moroccan mint tea, which is a blend of green tea, fresh mint and a lot of sugar. We drink it in cafes in Fez all the time. (I didn’t have any really good mint tea in Marrakesh, though—there’s something else to appreciate about Fez.) Another cafe favorite is the orange juice, which is usually fresh-squeezed from really fresh mandarin oranges, which Morocco grows tons of. And I really like Morocco’s sparkling mineral water, called “Oulmes,” better than European fizzy waters—I’m not sure why, except maybe it’s that Oulmes is more lightly carbonated, or just has a mineral taste that I happen to like.

•Some Moroccan food. We’ve ragged a bit on Moroccan food in the past because we’ve had a good deal of uninspired Moroccan restaurant food. But we also had our share of uninspired, or just plain bad, Spanish food. So I appreciate the good meals I’ve had in Morocco more, like a lamb, onion and raisin couscous I had a couple of weeks ago, or some really excellent veal kebobs, or homemade tagines we’ve been fortunate enough to partake in a few times. Did I learn to cook Moroccan food? No. It was hard to get excited about cooking anything in our sparsely-equipped apartment kitchen, and much traditional Moroccan food is pretty time-consuming to prepare. Maybe someday when I have a better kitchen again.

5 Responses to “Things I like about Morocco, having spent time in Spain”

  1. len Says:

    Oh, and for those just tuning in, I’d like to underline a point made at the start of Sue’s post: yes, we are two days away from leaving Morocco (possibly for good) and moving to Cairo, Egypt. We don’t have a hotel picked out yet and Sue is still shopping around among the many training programs there.
    However, I just finished shooting the first music video for a Moroccan rap band called Fez City Clan and they have friends in Cairo. So, a guy named Ali (friend of the band’s manager) is supposed to pick us up at the Cairo airport just past midnight on Tuesday and take us to a good hotel. From there we’ll start looking for an apartment.
    So, we’ll consider this a wrap-up to our adventures in Morocco and look forward to the colossi! (how many times have we heard that!?) : )

  2. Cheryl Says:

    Hey! Been enjoying the posts, though I feel so so boring (diapers, feedings, crying from all) after reading of your adventures. I don’t think I’ll be worthy of your presence. And what’s with this hankering I have for Moroccan food?? Have you already purchased a Tagine?

  3. len Says:

    We didn’t actually buy a tangine, and that makes us a little sad.
    It’s kind of tough justifying buying much of the cool stuff we see all around because a) we really don’t want more stuff to carry into taxis, onto trains, planes, etc. and b) sending stuff to the US is pretty pricey. 1 kg costs 159 dirhams, which is over 20 bucks. We found that kilograms add up fast.

    We’re hours from leaving Morocco. We’re waiting for the train in Casablanca that will take us to the airport and then off to Cairo. Soon our missives will be pyramidal.

  4. Laide Says:

    Yeah, I was in spain in ’05. the food is pretty lame! dried ham and stale bread didn’t do it for me! Although Granada did have some good dishes, thanks to the Arabian influences there.

    PS: I agree, Seville is beautiful!

    – L

  5. Kirk Says:

    < a href = “ cavs@broadcasters.wish“>.< / a >…


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