Yesterday we had a tea for just the ladies, and the seasoned expats told us about their experiences. Some experiences were quite negative (catcalls, etc.), so at the end, they each explained what they do like about Morocco. I’ve only lived in Morocco for a total of about six months and two weeks cumulatively, but I definitely also have an answer to that question. After all, I did choose to come back here…just six months wasn’t enough! So here is my own list.
- Friendliness: for the most part, Moroccans are willing to help. If you are lost, you can ask for directions and someone will walk with you to your destination. Or if your gas tank runs out, your concierge will bring you a new one so you don’t have to carry it up two flights of stairs.
- Religion: Morocco is a Muslim country, but it is very accepting of other faiths and other cultures. Most Moroccans seem to have an interest in learning more about religion (whether it is their own or another), and consider it to be an important part of life. This often brings people together in discussions or allows people to share their culture in a positive way.
- Language: Arabic is a beautiful language, even if you might say that Moroccans don’t really speak it! Moroccan Arabic is pretty fun to speak anyway, because it’s basically all consonants. I also really love French, but cannot understand the French accent. Morocco is the perfect place to practice speaking and listening without being ridiculed. I originally came to Morocco with the intention of learning Arabic and came out with more French, but I’m always happy to be learning languages.
The tram is a good place to learn how to say things like “the following stop is…” in Arabic and French.
- Diversity: Morocco is diverse in culture, geography, and traditions. There are Berbers, Arabs, Africans, and Westerners living just in the city of Casablanca. There are Christians, Muslims, and Jews, and several sects within each of those that are strongly represented. There are beaches, deserts, mountains, and ski resorts. There is always more to see and more to learn.
- And last but not least, I had a great experience here last time. I met wonderful people, traveled a lot, and learned more than I could have imagined. And like I said, there is always more to learn.