Observations

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Isli Lake near Imilchil

Reason 1,200 Why I Love Morocco: When you’re in a tiny mountain village that’s so small it doesn’t have an ATM (the nearest one is an hour away), and you also want to buy a beautiful, handwoven carpet, but don’t have the funds for both that and the room, the hotel proprietor suggests you just send him the money for both when you get home.

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My first tajine, which I made to mark the start of Ramadan 2015. It had potatoes, zucchini, onions, tomatoes and olives.

Reason 1,049 Why Love Morocco: The tajine. Not the meal, but the cookware. I’m so integrated at this point that I don’t know how I’ve live my adult years without one. I use it every day. It’s a pressure cooker, a crock-pot, a deep-fryer, popcorn maker, and “microwave” all in one. It’s truly a wonder.

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Typical dentist sign

Reason 999 Why I Love Morocco: A professional, quality teeth cleaning done by the dentist himself is only $40 and a new ceramic crown is a mere $400. Even better, my insurance should cover most of it.

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Moroccan sweet mint tea

Moroccan sweet mint tea

Reason 902 Why I Love Morocco: Befriending the neighborhood mint seller means a standing invitation for tea.

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Small grammatical errors should be forgiven when one's writing in his or her tertiary or quaternary language.

Small grammatical errors should be forgiven when one’s writing in his or her tertiary or quaternary language.

Reason 888 Why I Love Morocco: Almost everyone speaks at least two languages, most speak three, many speak four, and it’s not unusual to find someone who can speak as many as six or seven with reasonable fluency. Yet, to a person, all are equally, incredibly humble about this amazing talent..

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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 723 Why I Love Morocco: Trademarks are irrelevant.

(Not shown here: Google Café and the innumerable references to “McDo”)

Subway: Salon de Thé

Subway: Salon de Thé

Faceburger, not to be confused with Facebook

Faceburger, not to be confused with Facebook

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Reason 513 Why I Love Morocco, especially after being abroad: There is a camaraderie, a genuine friendliness among people, even toward strangers. Just asking a question at the airport in broken Arabic gets a warm smile and friendly touch on the shoulder.

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Reason 621 Why I Love Morocco: There is a patient acceptance to the less than desirable matters of life. Though I see the the flies as aggressive because their always in my face, my Moroccan friends smile and reframe this as, “They’re just curious.” or “They just want to kiss you.”

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Reason 601 Why I Love Morocco: When, after meals, people ask if you want to lay down and take a nap, they are totally serious. Every meal is like Thanksgiving at grandma’s.