It’s been exactly 2 years since I went to Morocco and the emotions that I lived before this trip, I didn’t feel for any other country so far. Maybe when I’ll go to Bali soon, I hope.
I dream about Morocco since I was a child while watching “The Clone”, a famous TV series and I’m so glad that Morocco was through my first travel destinations.e
When you visit such a different country, there are definitely, new things that you expect to see, but some that you don’t. For me, traveling from Romania to Morocco was like going to another world. My eyes were permanently watching around, as there were so many different things to admire and understand, but totally hypnotized by it.
Let me put something straight first: this country is not for everyone. If you’re not open minded enough to see and accept people and their traditions as they are, you won’t like it. More than this, Marrakech is pretty dirty and the smell around the city is not roses and flowers, most of the time. But you know what? I loved every minute there and I totally mean it. I discovered a small part of the Moroccan culture that really made me want to come back someday, to see more.
In this article I want to give you an overview of the facts that may surprise you in Morocco. But, these things shouldn’t worry, just keep calm and enjoy your trip 🙂 you have so much beauty to discover.
So, here is a list with some things that I’ve never seen in my own culture, but super common in Morocco:
- Men holding hands -this kind of affection among men is common and it has zero meaning sexuality in Morocco. They actually spend a lot of time together, they always kiss and shake hands, so, for them, holding hands it is just a sign of friendship and respect.
- Ali-Baba is a famous character in Morocco and boys, if you have a long beard, that would be your nick name everywhere in the souk. Don’t take that as an insult though, as this may be more like a compliment for a beard wearer.
- Most of the mosques in Morocco are forbidden to the tourists, but you can ask someone nicely before entering if you are allowed to visit it. For example, the largest Mosque in Marrakech, the Koutoubia Mosque is open for tourists. When it comes to their small houses of worship, I don’t think you’re welcome inside, so you better check it before entering.
- As a Muslim country, of course, you will see women wearing hijab, but you will also notice that men and women are never together when they stay outside, they are sitting on different benches.
- Even if most of the women wear the traditional clothes, in Morocco there are also women wearing jeans and t-shirts, driving or going alone outside.
- For Muslims, there are 5 daily prayers and they pray anywhere, even on the sidewalk. The interesting part is that women never pray near men.When the payer starts, you only see men stopping from what they were doing and praying together.
- Morocco is a cheap country, but everything is more expensive for tourists, obviously. Almost anything has to be negotiated and believe me, it’s tiring as hell. Sometimes, you just want to buy at the first price and move on. But you can’t because you know this is a steep price. So bring your patience, you will need it if you want to buy some souvenirs.
- You won’t find alcohol in restaurants, so you will find a beer in a supermarket or a mall. It is pretty expensive tough, so, this may be one of the expensive things in Morocco.
- Almost any food in Morocco has turmeric, it’s actually everywhere! I honestly, don’t like it so much, but you may enjoy the taste. In Morocco, even the people smell like it, quite funny.
- Henna tattoo is something popular in Morocco, but don’t make it anywhere. The locals wouldn’t recommend you to do it in the central squares and definitely, not with black henna, as this one contains some chemicals for its darkness. I had my henna tattoo to a place called “Henna Café” and I totally loved it! After doing it, you need to keep your hand dry for about 12 hours for a long last. It lasted about 8-9 days on my skin.
If Morocco is on your bucket list, I hope this article will help you out to create a better picture about this country. If not, share with a friend who may need it. You will find all the articles about Morocco here http://marymacksworld.com/category/morocco/
Thanks for reading, M.