Thursday, January 29, 2009

Morrocans are nice (so far)

I'm going to say I'm a bit surprised, but the touters here in Morocco so far have been very friendly so far. I had expected what I got from Egypt (where I was jumped on like greasy potatoes from the very moment I stepped out of immigration).

The guys that were trying to see if we wanted a taxi when we came out of the port smiled and when we said we didn't want their attention they said, "ok no problem. Thank you" and smiled over to the next person. In fact, I was probably ruder to them than they were to me. Hehe call it "lessons learned".

One random guy asked us where we were going, we said "Fes" and he told us to take a bus instead of a train because it will not require a vehicle change and that the bus station was a short walk away as he pointed in the correct direction. I just kinda stared at him in disbelief for 2 seconds when he said that before I thanked him. That was *not* what I expected to come out his mouth. I half expected him to rob me after we started walking.

We met a nice guy in our train car who gave us information about taxis here and how to get from Fes to Marrakech tomorrow (whether by bus or train). He works in an upscale hotel in Marrakech so I figured I'd ask him about hotels too but he said he didn't know of much in Fes. We will need to stay 1 night in Fes.

I don't think his wife knows any English so she didn't say anything to us, which is understandable. The guy told us that Moroccans learn French in school but in the north, Spanish is used more, so he knows Spanish too. Why couldn't it have been German geez? Life would be so much easier for me if Germany had imperialized a bit more in the middle ages.

We're going to take the train tomorrow as well, because the man told us that everyone is returning to school this weekend for the 2nd semester and so the cheap transportation will be incredibly packed and uncomfortable. He told us they sell more tickets than they have seats in the 2nd class section. So Yan and I are going to try to buy tickets for tomorrow's train before leaving the station in a couple hours to see if we can find a place to crash in Fes so that we can do some sightseeing tomorrow morning before we go.

The guy who served us food at the train station cafeteria was also super friendly. Our nice veggie and egg salad cost us $2.50 and I tipped him about 70 cents. I felt like he deserved it. I got to practice my absolutely limited Arabic by saying "chokran" (thank you) to the man.


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