Taroudant Morocco: Experiencing South Morocco and a Moroccan Ramadan

After arriving in Casablanca airport in the morning, I quickly headed to the bus station for a bus towards the South. I wanted to see a more untouched Morocco. I travelled not with a tour group but independently at my own pace, doing and seeing what I wanted to see and stay as long as I wanted to where I wanted to.. I stayed with my lovely friend Abdou and was treated with warm kindness as if I were part of the family his gracious mother and her generous hospitality as well as my friend's brothers. I got a chance to see mountains, desert as well as sea in a compact region! I learned about "Berber" culture (a derogatory name for the Amazigh people )  and Amazigh people (Amazigheya language) as well as Saharan people and their way of life! I arrived during the Moslem fasting month of Ramadan and managed to officially fast for 2 complete days (very difficult as I have a low blood sugar and my metabolism is fast) but the remaining part of the time I (cheated) a bit by eating some bread and some wonderful Moroccan tea or coffee in the morning (because I fell asleep before SOHOR) but didn't eat or drink anything until the muezzin sends off the call to prayer - officially breaking the fast at nightfall. I joined the rest of my friends eating really tasty foods, some of them one could find only during Ramadan. Starting off with dates, then Harira ( Moroccan soup with many ingredients inside), then some juice as well as wonderful pastries and sweets (I forgot the names). I especially loved the coffee and tea and the way it was prepared. My friends would sit around and strum the guitar and sing fun songs together and we laughed and really enjoyed each others company- We had deep discussions about cultural differences, even touched politely on sensitive topics like  religion, politics, and stayed more on topics of  music- I think we had a wonderful exchange, breaking down barriers and building new bridges of friendship. I was not really keen on running around to different places everyday like a tour group but to see a few places, wander in a few souqs, smelling the spices in the air, and really get a good feeling of the life and the rhythm of the people. In the later evening we all went out to the street cafe which was full of men - the smell of coffee and the energy of the people everywhere made me feel so nostalgic- All that was missing was some music from Om Kalthoum or Abdel Halim-hafez to complete the feeling. Other times we would go for some juice or "laban with different flavours" with more wonderful Moroccan pastries or cake! We ate so much at times that we laughed and joked walking home.

Moroccan local transport was TAXI SAGEER which was shared price and long distance taxis had 4 people crushed into the back seat  and 2 people sharing one seat in front next to the driver. Not the most comfortable but we got around!
Oh gosh! I have to warn people about EVERY kind of bicycle , car or lorry on the road! there seem to be NO breaks on any of those and they come darting from all directions, dodging me forcing my friend to hold my hand to cross the streets all the time!

My time in Morocco went very quickly and was a bit sad to leave my friends as well as the country, but I know I will definitely be returning in the future ( inshallah) to different places of the country where there might be opportunities  to go into caves, waterfalls, different villages, and experience the way of life when it is not Ramadan. I hope this next opportunity I will be more clever in crossing the road ( by myself!)and maybe have perfected the way on how to make Moroccan coffee!!


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