i have unfortunately packed my card reader in and therefore i will have no photos to post on morocco. perhaps i will steal some off the net.

ryanair had just run a feature on travelling solo. i do know that for long periods of time, travelling solo just gets to me. sometimes you just don't know where to go, and you'd prefer just following someone who'd see something they'd like.

anyway, i'm glad to report i returned safe and sound from morocco. firstly, morocco is largely francophone, so getting by was not much of a problem. it seems many of them speak it as a second language. nothing lost, and the budget was incredible, it was 8 euro a night for accommodation, for a nice riad-like hostel with a bright room and nice enough bed. showers were rubbish, not hot water, manual flush (fill pail with water, pour pail into hole) squatting toilets and no cold water. at least it's not take water from big tank and pour over myself. otherwise, just like rural indonesia. i don't think some of my fellow travellers got what they bargained for.


food was generally affordable. the first night at the djemaa (the largest square in africa) i wandered around and was looking at what to eat. lentil soup was 2.5 dirhams (0.25 euro), and i had also a nice 4 course meal later, consisting of bread, aubergine paste, moroccan salsa (that's what i call it) fried fish and chips. fish was fried in light batter, very boney. along with a drink, 2.7 euro in total. you do the usual trick of going where you see only moroccans.

now the stupid thing is, i got stuck in the tourist trap AFTER doing this. the next night, enlightened by my first experience, i trawled the djemaa again. because i wanted to have some couscous/tagine, i decided to go to one of the larger stalls where there were a few moroccans, and a big thai production crew who were filming after being in fez. had crappy tagine and food for 7.5 euros! anyway, i learnt later that most moroccans don't eat out.

Best tagine was at Cafe Argana, a restaurant overlooking the square, on the last night. nice lamb tagine with figs and dates, sweet and very citrusy.

big lovers of orange juice, everywhere there are people juicing oranges. their pastries are influenced by the french, lots of croissants. btw, "croissant rouge" is the red cross! lots of dates and sweet things. i was also addicted to mint tea

i did not see much shisha, although dodgy young men were constantly trying to sell me hashish/kif, and i saw some glue sniffers around. i felt pretty safe in morocco, in the sense that i felt there was a constant police presence and a sense of social justice in the place. for example, i realised that the attitude they take towards beggars is very different. many of them choose to give freely and even banter with people who ask for alms, and they give though they themselves to do not look fantastically well off.

i woke up at 6 everyday, not feeling too tired, and was off and running by 6.15. in case this sounds insanely early, the adhan sounds at 4 - 4.30 in the morning. this usually wakes me, and an hour or more of sleep will suffice. moroccans are early risers (as most developing countries tend to be), and i usually had to get up early for the bus out.

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