Women are pieces of shits in Muslim countries
Of course it is including those in Morocco and of course it is including me
USA > Mexico > Peru > Bolivia > Chile > Argentina > Portugal > Spain > Morocco - 2012 / 13
Morocco Itinerary - Marrakech – Aït Benhaddou – Dades Valley – Sahara Desert
I went to Morocco not because of the desert nor the mosque, just I wanted to satisfy my superficial wish of having my foot stepped on six continents. I know this Muslim country is not the real Africa I want to see, but her position on the map already satisfied me. The thing is Morocco is so close to Europe, connected with so many budget airlines, I really don't mind just to take a look.
It was already midnight when my flight arrived in Marrakesh, I had arranged a staff to come and pick me at the airport because my hostel Riad Iaazane is hidden inside the labyrinthine Medina. I had been to so many old towns and twisting alleyways, but I had never been so confused. I followed the hostel staff in the very dark, stepping on creaking woods and cracky grounds we were wandering inside the maze, passing though one alleyway after another alleyway and again another another another alleyway. I couldn't remember how many turns we did nor how many gates we passed before we finally arrived our hostel safe. And I was like, what the hell is this place?!
Well, you are right, I had no idea of how Morocco should be like because I was never in love with her and never did my homework. But, you know, a lodging of only €4 a night had really convinced me to believe that I would be happy to spend time here in this country to learn her culture.
Unfortunately I already wanted to leave this shitty place only after spending an afternoon here the next day. I tell you, I hate people annoying me, specially men annoying me. But the very poor me got one men after another man and again another another another man annoying me, stalking me, following me, seems I met the first men here. Those who were polite would greet to me, say I am pretty, or force me to buy something. Those who were rude would say horrible things like he wanted to touch me, to beat me, or even to rape me. Yes you heard it right! And I heard it right too! There is no problems with our ears! All women are just pieces of shits in the eyes of Moroccan men!
The hostel staff calmly explained to me why when he saw me returning super angry. In fact, everything I had just seen and heard were nothing unusual, it is only the over too positive way of how Moroccan men selling businesses to tourists and approaching ladies. They learned to get attention from ladies using their fabulous communicating skills since they were kids, because there is no clubs nor internet cafes available in this country where they can easily make friends with the ladies. If the ladies were not interested, they should never have any eye contacts with the men, in this case the men would eventually feel bored and go away. There is a law in Morocco prohibiting men to touch women, and the penalty is even higher when a tourist is the victim, so it actually means that this country is pretty safe, and I should not be worried.
Although Morocco is considered as one of the more opened and more modern Muslim country, I don't see women are having good lives here. The most horrible thing is, if women were raped unfortunately, they had to marry the criminal. Actually, Moroccan men is world famous for its verbal violence, Moroccan women were never respected properly, these are all common sense just I didn't do my homework on wiki. But now I finally understand, why in the Middle East and the Northern Africa women's rights were exploited so obviously, why female bodies were sexually harassed so frequently, and even young little girls were used as suicide bombs and it is still considered as nothing unusual.
Okay, I know I have to adapt weird culture of this country, so I learned to walk real fast but with my head pointing down, while shuttling through the labyrinthine market inside old town. Yes I knew the world in front of me was amazingly colourful, having all these beautiful fabrics, costumes, jewelries, silverwares, leather goods, hand crafts and many more to see, still I only to press the shutter button and never turn my head again.
You would arrive Jemaa el-Fna, the busiest plaza of Africa, if you could manage to exit the endless alleyways in the old town district. During the day, it is an open air stage for different kinds of performances, stuffed with musicians, storytellers, henna artists, snake charmers, and hawkers selling spices, dried fruits and orange juice. During the night, it is a food paradise, having countless stalls serving traditional Moroccan dishes. The plaza is definitely an exciting place no matter which hour of the day, unfortunately I really hate the typical character of the Moroccan men when they keep annoying me, stalking me, following me to sell their businesses. Truth is I never had a chance to enjoy any meal or performance under a peaceful status.
Tajine is the most famous Moroccan dish, it is named after the type of earthenware in which it is cooked. Ingredients including beef, lamb, poultry or seafood, with potatoes, carrots, beans, olives, and more than 20 kinds of spices. The hotel staff told me it takes at least 4 hours to do the dish, and it is the dish every Moroccan woman is preparing every day. Yes I knew the Tajine she made me was really tasty, much more tasty than those at the plaza, still I wondered if it is too boring to have the same dish everyday. She said no, of course no, she still loves it a lot even she has it at least five times a week. Because sometimes she have beef Tajine, or sometimes she have chicken Tajine, you know, all different tastes. Well, I guess she is right, just we are living in world with too much choices.
The labyrinthine Medina got countless alleyways, it is not possible not to get lost. But the thing is, I enjoy it the most when I get lost in a foreign country, because only by this mean I can see the real life of the country other than just landmarks and sightseeings. Specially I enjoy wandering inside local markets, to check out what kind of beef or chicken or pork the people eat, so that I know what kind of living standard it is. This time when I got lost in Morocco, I saw rotted food placed on dirty ground accompanied by bunch of flies inside local market, it was really disgusting but again it reminded me, I should treasure everything I have.
I have to admit I did complain a lot about Morocco, but she does have something I do admire. Moroccan architecture is very pretty, mixed with elements from Southern Europe and Muslim countries and they are all like mediaeval buildings. I especially love her interior design, having colorful geometrical patterns on the wall, the floor, the ceiling and everywhere in the house, giving vivd powerful contrast and elegant harmonious balance at the same time. If you visit Marrakech you should check out Palais Bahia, Saadian Tombs, Musée de Marrakech, Ali Ben Youssef Medersa, Koutoubia Mosque and as well the many other landmarks, to take close look of the unique beautiful style of this country.
Palais Badi was built in the 15th century, it was claimed as one of the most beautiful palaces in the world by that time. Although it is now just debris and ruins, you can still see the original structure and spacing, to understand more the characteristics of Moroccan architecture. Morocco has very hot summers and very cold winters, it is also very windy, with very long hours of strong sun lights, but her traditional hard solid soil wall can block away heat, adjust humidity, keep the house cool in summers and warm in winters, even more effective than air-conditioners. Also it makes good use of natural light, it saves a lot of energy which is very environmental friendly. Comparing to all these skyscrapers in the developed countries which are like trying to change the fate of human beings, Moroccan architecture is definitely a much bigger wisdom as it successfully adapted with surrounding environment and harmoniously combined with mother nature.
To be honest, I never had any fantasy of Sahara. But the thing is I was already at the entrance of the desert, and a three day tour costed me MAD 750 (USD 92) only, the very superficial me of course wanted a once in a life time adventure at the biggest desert.
The first day in the morning we visited Ait Buenhaddou, a desolate but unusually beautiful World Heritage city. In the afternoon we passed through the spectacular High Atlas and rose village, before we arrived at our comfortable hotel. The next day we went to the very green Dadès Gorges valleys, visiting traditional Moroccan hand-made carpets. Finally we arrived at a small village before sunset, riding on our lovely camels, to embark our journey to the mysterious desert.
I was already deadly tired after almost two days of transport and two hours of camel. Specially when the super stormy wind of this daunting desert keep hitting on my nose, my month, my ears and my eyes with its powerful sands, I just felt really really really sick. However when I saw thousands and thousands miles of golden sands in front of my eyes, and when I heard continuous and continuous screams of violent winds next to my ears, I felt I was really living alive, and I have always been happily living.
Two years ago when I was at the Himalaya, I said to my friend I wanted to visit Grand Canyon next time, and Salar de Uyuni next next time. But I didn't even try to imagine of when it would happen because I was totally broke when I came back home from Tibet, all I could do was to set Brazil as my goal and kept working and working and working hard. When I sold all my valuables to begin my journey I thought I would return home after one year. Funny enough, a journey that I set off because of Brazil but finally decided not to go to Brazil, had become a life reborn journey that has no fixed route, no time limit, and no final destination. In the past year, not only I visited Grand Canyon and Salar de Uyuni, but also Amazon and Sahara. From just traveling in North America, to drifting in South America, and now coming back to Europe after so many years, the journey had became my life instead of just my travel. I live on the road, this is in my life, if not forever, then at least this present moment of my life. Of course I could never understand everything in this world, but right now every single person and every single thing that I encounter every single day had given me all kinds of thoughtful and inspiring classes, to know more about the reasons behind the good and bad of we human and this big big world.