An Important Lesson I learned in Fez, Morocco

Thursday, April 27, 2017

This Spring break I had the opportunity to push myself and expand on cultural horizons that I never dreamed possible. Before I begin explaining about my adventures of Morocco I should probably give you guys a bit of a pretext.
    I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about Morocco before getting on my plane two weeks ago. In fact, I was so uneducated on Morocco that I watched Sex and the City 2 in preparation for my voyage only to realize that it wasn’t in fact in Morocco, but Abu Dabi. Yep. That’s how little I knew about Morocco. Okay, I take that back. Sure, I knew some stuff based off of what my students told me (many of whom are originally from Morocco) including their love for couscous and knowing French, but other than that I was completely clueless.
    As our plane ride descended my two friends and I began to get anxious to see the city. After all, it was my first time in Africa and I was ready to cross another continent off of my list. The first thing to know about Morocco is that they use Dirhams. Right now, the exchange is 100 Dirhams = 10 euros. A pretty awesome deal if you ask me. After what seemed to be the longest taxi ride of my life, we ended at the edge of the city saying that we would be picked up at a restaurant named Timbuktu (I’m sure it has a better reputation than the place itself).  As we entered our way into the Medina, I felt as if I was taken into a time warp and into another era. To my amazement people were using donkeys and horses as modes of transportation about the streets. Cats were seen picking up scraps on every windy street, and each little store seemed to be selling fresh meat.

To say that I was unprepared for a culture shock on this trip was probably an understatement. Culture shock’s aren’t always a bad thing. If I think about how the Western media portrays Muslim countries (particularly America), you almost always hear solely about the negatives. Staying a week in Fez Morocco allowed for me to understand about a different culture and religion that many aren’t able to experience. By the end of the trip, I found it comforting to hear the call of prayer throughout the day (maybe not always the one at 5 am but I digress). I am thankful for the freedom of religion in the United States, but I actually found it beautiful that in this country- almost everyone practiced the same religion. At no point did I feel suppressed as a woman during my trip (sure there were cat calls, but there will be regardless of where you go in the world). Instead, I felt enlightened thanks to a few friends of mine that we befriended in Morocco.
  Culturally, Moroccans are known to be very giving, My friend at told this to us before entering the plane, and this could be seen even before landing when my friend was offered 10 euros to the woman sitting next to us on the plane offering to pay for his lunch. We were dumbfounded that she would do this gesture of kindness to a complete stranger. Fast forward to a couple days later. We are sitting at the garden and find ourselves playing go-fish with some of the local teenagers laughing for hours. Throughout the week the guys show us around Fez, introduced us to their family and friends, and even opened their homes for us to share a family meal. Each day I was more dumbfounded by myself for wondering how people could be so nice. Maybe society had made me cold, but I always believed (until now) that people had ulterior motives. I was humbly reminded that week in Fez, by two guys in particular, that kindness still exists.
 So even though I might have touched Roman ruins, seen multiple villages, touched a donkey, and seen at least five panoramic views nothing will compare to the memories I made with my friends in Morocco. From the memories I made with my Airbnb hosts and his family members to countless number of times playing cards; Morocco will always have  a special place in my heart.  It’s a beautiful reminder, as my journey of living abroad comes to an end shortly,that beauty can be found all over the world in different ways, shapes, and forms. 

Until next time, 

The PrincessFusion

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  1. Good stuff, have everything which one needs to learn about Morroco, Morroco is in my list to visit and this blog will help me for sure


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