Having recently spent three months in Morocco, we were thinking about why it captured us so much and we decided it was because it reminded us of home….. So here it is the five reasons why Morocco reminded us of Australia
Morocco has like a lot of southern Europe has an abundance of Eucalyptus trees. They line the roads and cover the landscapes giving it a very Aussie feel. To top it off as we were there in Spring we also realised they have lots of Golden Wattle as well, they were everywhere blooming golden yellow. To the point I feel I have seen more wattle in flower there than ever at home. The countryside reminded us of home in other ways too with the Stunning coastlines, beautifully dramatic gorges, the red dirt and dry arid area where somehow they manage to eeek out a living….just like at home.
Australia has a real café culture, and so does Morocco. At home we often meet friends for coffee at a café and pass the time enjoying each other’s company. Morocco although is slightly different the men meet in coffee shops, they can be seen at all times of the day enjoying a good strong coffee with friends…and the women well they spend their early evenings walking along the many beautiful promenades chatting to friends as well. In times gone by we used to have people around for a cup of tea, there was a whole ceremony warming the pot, turning it three times and then pouring. Morocco still does this with their tea, although not black tea like at home but green tea with mint added. They warm the pot and pour a glass, pour it back in and repour it up to six times…then it is poured form a great height to ensure you have a head on it (like we do beer) no bubble on top and it goes back.
As all good aussies love a roast chook on Sunday cooked by Mum or a BBQed chicken from the local takeaway, Red Rooster or Chicken Treat. Morocco is no different, every town has at least one shop that sell Roti Chicken served up with salads and chips for less than $10 Aus you can’t go wrong. Normally it is served in the middle of the table (like we have fish and chips) and everyone digs in till there is not a tiny bit left. Added to the humans there are normally a few cats hanging around waiting for a tidbit to be thrown to them.
In Australia how we ask ‘how are you going’, when we meet people, in the supermarket…on the phone but the reality is we really don’t want to know too much it is just polite to ask. Morocco is the same, everywhere you go you are greeted with ‘Bonjour, ça va?…… ‘Hello how are you’ the response is always ‘ça va bien’ ‘I am good’ no matter how you feel just like at home.
And the final thing is football no Morocco does not follow AFL like at homer but they follow soccer with the same passion. While we go to the pub to watch a game Moroccans head to a local café, if it is full they line the streets outside to watch the game on the TV. They barrack loud and hard just like at home…except there are no women there. The kids always have a soccer ball and play in any piece of dirt they can find, our favourite was in Essaouira where the tide went out, a man would come along and mark out a football pitch and a game would start, they even had goals to use.
Some of these are probably why we enjoyed being in Morocco so much a little bit of home on the other side of the world,