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My Travels In Morocco

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I think the most horrible thing that ever happened to me – the most horrible situation I’ve ever found myself in would be more precise actually – has not affected me like it should. As me and my friend were travelling from Marrakesh to Zagora in south Morocco to spend the night in the North-Sahara, we ended up getting caught in a flood. It rained like God or Allah was punishing us, sending a watery hell down upon us to show his wrath. It turned dark, real dark, and some times the lightning would flash the outside world, and everything would be visible for just half a second. In that half a second you could se families looking for their dear ones in the muddy ruins of their villages. With flashlights and lightly dressed they put their own life on the line to wander aimlessly around, yelling and crying, distressed beyond belief.

As I walked out of the car at one point, as it had almost stopped raining and I needed a stretch (being 1.91m and sitting in a car for more than 15 hours is painful), a splash of water angrily hits me as the nearby wall of the building nearby collapses. People are coming towards me, begging me to help them in Arabic. They couldn’t even help themselves, they were cold, had no were to sleep, everything was wet, they didn’t know where their friends and families were, and all of their food was gone. Apathically they started clearing the roads, as blocks of mud and stones were covering them, and the cars were stuck. They were clearing the roads for us tourists, because they didn’t have anything else to do.

Our car was one of two cars that actually managed to get to our destination, where more than a dozen cars were supposed to meet. We drove like crazy, at times the water covered the entire wheel of the car, and we felt the tickling of the water under our feet. The mud made the roads slippery and difficult to drive on.

As I came home to Norway again I searched for some news regarding this disaster. I found a small article in a local Moroccan newspaper that had English web pages: 500 houses killed, 12 dead, an unknown number of people hurt.

Still, when I think back at it… It’s strangely far away. Could just as well been some undramatic, boring event as going to a dull party.

hassanmosqueThe rest (both before and after this) of the trip was wonderful however! Very recommended to check this country out! I’ve seen the king’s mosque in Casablanca – the second largest in the world, and truly amazing one at that – I’ve been to Rick’s Café (also in Casablanca), the café with the same name as the one in the Casablanca movie, where I drank Casablanca beer while I was watching the Casablanca movie. I’ve been woken by the Imams calling for prayers at five in the morning, their sentences ending with “it is better to pray than to sleep”, in hoarse Darisha (a type of Arabic). The souks of Marrakesh has enthralled me, tricked and deceived me, and I’ve gotten lost in the spice-smelling, narrow streets, leading everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I’ve fallen in love with that sweet, tasty and spicey (although not hot) food they make, which you can just get lost in when you eat it. The Moroccans have yelled “Ali Baba!” after me, called me “ugly guy” when I declined the offer to buy hashish and they’ve kissed me, hugged me, laughed and waved at me. Travelling truly is one of the most wonderful things in the world. Shokran, Morocco!


Written by Aslak

December 4, 2008 at 17:34

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