Observations

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Reason 248 Why I Love Morocco: Sometimes, when you show up early for the bus, the bus drivers take you to breakfast.

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Reason 591 Why I Love Morocco: If you look helpless enough, eventually someone will take you by the hand and lead you through the morass of paperwork necessary for renewing your carte de sejour.

Koningsdag in Amsterdam

Sporting the Dutch and Canadian flags on Koningsdag

I can’t be sure, but I doubt any country celebrates it’s monarchy as enthusiastically as the Dutch. I hadn’t planned on it, but my brief stopover in Amsterdam, Netherlands coincided with the national holiday of Koningsdag, or King’s Day, preceded by Koninginnenacht, Queen’s Night. Coming directly from another monarchical system, I reflected on the difference between the…

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Reason 1,843 Why I Love Morocco: No matter what you need, there’s always a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy.

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Moroccan butcher in Agadir

Reason 933 Why I love Morocco: Despite the rapid move toward modernization, especially in the massive metropolis of Casablanca, there remains a culture of trust and goodwill that permeates informal relationships.

The latest of innumerable examples: My local butcher, who’s known me only a week or so, sent me away with my purchase, even though I’d forgotten my money, and told me I could pay when I able. Incha’Allah.

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Reason 501 Why I Love Morocco: Unlike most of the West, where even eye contact is rare, you’re virtually guaranteed a salutary response, even from total strangers if you bother to make an attempt. Salamu walaykum.

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Moroccan street vendor selling pomegranate juice.

Reason 1,800 Why I Love Morocco: A large glass (not plastic, even though it’s a street vendor) of delicious, freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice is only $1.50.

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Hard at work

Hard at work

Reason 742 Why I love Morocco: It’s difficult to find an audience for complaining. The general consensus is “everything is as it should be.”

The other day, it was 110°F/45°C. As I went about doing my errands suffering and complaining to locals about the temperature, every response was, “Thank God for the heat.”

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Reason 318 Why I Love Morocco: Many people I meet for the first time while walking around insist I stay with them next time I’m in town.

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Glamour shot

Glamour shot

Reason 595 Why I Love Morocco: New photographs for the carte de sejour come with a free glamour shot.