I have to admit, seeing a familiar face after a few weeks of just meeting new people is pretty cool. I was quite glad when Clive walked out of the arrivals at Casablanca airport. I could have said “see, I survived this far despite your videos at the going away party“ but I didn’t.
It got me thinking though, what have I survived thus far? Amsterdam, Belgian roads, the French language, wind and rain in France, a night hugging my motorcycle for warmth, Swiss chocolates, illegally abseiling a German tower, crazy Spanish drivers, crazier Moroccan drivers, mysterious ship explosions, and countless hustlers. Not a bad effort I guess but the best was yet to come in Morocco.
I have to say, staying with Yassine and Amin was the best introduction anyone could have. Thanks to them I am now hooked on mint tea and tagine dinners. It was awesome to see the way they live, and to hook in with the locals. It prepared us for everything else that was about to be thrown at us.
In Casablanca we saw the huge Mosque, Hassan II which is actually the third largest in the world. We also saw the Medina and managed to wander down the wrong street as you do. It was pretty raw, people living in absolute squalor with a lot of cripples and disabled people. The smell was something else.
There was also a soccer game on between two Casablancan teams which we went to. Red and Green were playing each other and we were supporting Green. If you thought Europeans were crazy about soccer wait till you see Moroccans! Everyone in the crowd was amazingly friendly to Clive and I thought, wanting photos with us and even giving us drinks. I actually saw a guy sitting near us who kept looking at us. I thought he looked pretty dodgy but I was more preoccupied with trying to make my seat comfortable. After a while he leaned across and gave me his cushion. How kind is that! He turned out to be the nicest guy and I was originally suspicious. We found this over and over again actually, a lot of people were genuinely friendly and generous, except if you´re trying to buy something from them in which case they´ll rip your heart out and shred it. And then they´ll try and sell it back to you.
During the game everyone was a lot more sombre, especially since Green lost. Two years ago the same thing happened and all the Green supporters rampaged through Casablanca basically destroying everything so I was interested in seeing what would happen this time.
Only a few buses were burnt and windows smashed so quite tranquil in the scheme of things. I think I came closest to death so far when I accidentally started humming the oppositions song. What can I say though, it was so catchy!