03 Jul Morocco- Do they welcome you by throwing fruit?!?
I had spent a couple of weeks in Ibiza, party central and oozing sex, a couple of days in Amsterdam to decompress and then headed to Morocco. The dream team, Halala and Phillipo, were excited as they had finally found a place to chill. My plane arrived super late 1am so I didnt really take much in upon arrival. My first day in Morocco Halala and I went to Tangier to do a bit of shopping. At the time I didnt think twice about what I was wearing. It was hot, a tank top and shorts seemed appropriate.
The muslim religion while foreign to me was very present. A call to prayer comes on over a loud speaker at various mosques throughout the city, five times a day starting at 5am. It was very different to see people in long potato sack looking garments and women with their hair covered. Especially since it was so hot.
Shopping was more like it was in India. Little make shift shops that lined a couple of streets. People put out a blanket and sold random goods or even more random second hand goods covered with a layer of sand or dust. I am in my own world quiet often and today wasn’t an exception. I was marvelling at all the crazy fabrics and checking out what things I could purchase that would make our new place more cozy and me more comfortable. We decided to go to another area of this market I heard applause and smiled looking around to see if I could see what was going on. I was immediately distracted by a shiny sparkly lamp. Halala came up and admired it but we couldn’t quite justify the price or practicality of the pretty piece. As we continued exiting the market a very angry man came up and started yelling at me.
“What is wrong with you, don’t you have any respect for yourself”.
I was completely taken back. Halala came to my rescue but it was already too late. A mob of people were now yelling, most of which was in Arabic so I didnt understand. Regardless of the language barrier they were pissed. My clothing was considered inappropriate. I shrugged it off and continued walking toward the car. Halala liked to battle a bit more but she was still close to me. That is when something flew by me. I flinched and then saw a small green fruit hit a car in front of me. Now there was a full audience to the scene. We continued toward the car and at this point I was laughing which was echoed by Halala. This no doubt aggravated the fruit throwers and prompted more fruit to be thrown at us. None hit us. Our distance increased and the fruit throwing decreased. Locals ran up to us apologising and explaining that it was Ramadan, a holy month of fasting where Muslims observe not eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset. This was cause for people to be easily irritated and tense. The remainder of Ramadan this was a common theme. People being uptight, easily aggravated and on edge. The fasting ended Friday July, 17th and tension eased.
It seems odd to me that something done in observance of anything holy would bright about such aggression and angst. Like everywhere and anywhere else in the world, Morocco being no different, there were people who were what seemed to be judgemental.You never really know what people are thinking, however their stares spoke volumes especially when met with a smile but were returned with a blank stare or by looking away. Others were open, welcoming, hospitable and loving. Where ever you go people are people and need love- show love with no expectation.