Africa

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Ubiquitous and endlessly useful.

Reason 1,233 Why I Love Morocco: Everything is possible with WhatsApp—doctor’s appointments, car repair, hotel reservations, fish mongers, taxi pick-ups, you name it. Of course, one must obtain the numbers first, but there’s always a friend of a friend of a friend whose brother knows just the man you need.

Morocco’s Southern Coast

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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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A fairly standard water jug wrapped in burlap to keep it cool. Atop sits the communal cup.

A fairly standard water jug wrapped in burlap to keep it cool. Atop sits the communal cup.

Reason 735 Why I Love Morocco: Nearly every shop, and many households, have water jugs outside for any passersby who may need a drink.

(Compare this to the privatization of water supplies in much of the West.)

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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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Reason 404 Why I Love Morocco: I can sit in a crowded taxi with my arm around a strange man and his hand on my knee without all the Western fears of male/male intimacy.

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Reason 604 Why I Love Morocco: A man can look definitively masculine despite wearing what the West might see as a dress.

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Reason 531 Why I Love Morocco: Midnight rides through the desert on a darkened bus enables an incredible view of the stars and moon without clouds or light pollution.

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Reason 3,333 Why I Love Morocco: Previously neglected foods are now main staples. i have eaten, or drank, more dates, olives, watermelon, oranges, eggs, fish, okra, tea, wine, couscous, honey, mint, and mutton in the last 5 years here than I did the whole 45 years before coming.

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moroccan oranges

Moroccan oranges at a local market

Reason 3,042 Why I Love Morocco: Orange season is long, abundant, and delicious.