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Published: July 12th 2010
On our way to Al Jadida; Bus takes a break
It’s about 8 hours on CTM (bus) from Fes to Al Jadida. I liked the CTM it is new, clean, and air conditioned. We will take the bus from Fes to Casablanca, then get a new bus from Casablanca to Jadida. When we reach Casablanca we all get off the bus and go inside to get our luggage. The luggage comes out and the baggage handler starts putting it on the counter. Khadijah is grabbing at our luggage before the guy has a chance to ID it well. In a split second I see what looks like my blue, little, roller suitcase. I see a guy reach for it and the baggage handler checks the ID and gives it to him, I think oh that must be his…all the baggage is off the bus, everyone has grabbed their bag and gone. The last bag to come off the bus is a little blue one with wheels…it is not mine though…THE IDIOT GAVE THE GUY MY BAG!! My husband runs to go find the guy before he leaves but is not able to catch him. He tells the baggage handler about the mistake he made, the handler could care less he ignores
Cleaning lady outside of bathroom. Thank God for modern toilets!
my husband. I tell my husband to tell him open the blue bag that was left there thinking maybe the guy left some information in it and we could contact him. The handler continues to ignore us. Now as you can imagine I am HEATED, I can’t speak Arabic so the only thing for me to do is to bang on the counter to get his attention, and yell in English. My husband tells him to get the manager…he’s still ignoring us. My husband gets the video camera and tells him if he doesn’t move he’s going to video tape whats going on and find the manager himself. Finally the stunaad makes a call.
We follow him over to this girl. I see my husband yelling. What I didn’t know at the time was that the baggage handler told the girl (manager) that our bag never arrived from Fes. So my husband was saying no it came and you gave it to someone else. I see the girl talking very matter of factly. I knew she was telling my husband their policy. I asked my husband what she said and he told me that she said, Wait and see if
Abdullah waiting for everyone to head bqck to the bus
the guy returns it, if he doesn’t they will reimburse me $10. Yup $10! I then told my husband I gotta go sit down before I punch this B in the face. Our next bus now arrives. I haven’t had a chance to go to the bathroom. No one has eaten. It’s horrible! I realize about an half an hour into our bus ride that I can’t be miserable for the rest of the vacation. I have a long way to go. I decide to relax and make dua. I joke around with my mother-in-law and aunt regarding the incident. NOTE: every stitch of clothing I and my daughter have are in that bag. I have no underwear, no pajamas, no swim clothes…nothing.
We finally arrive in Al Jadida, the bus depot is swarming with people yelling at us, dangling keys in our face (this means they have vacation homes for rent). Finally we get 3 taxis and get to our rental home. Which is very nice and belongs to my husband’s friend Karim. Karims sister is there to welcome us. She is very kind and offers to take me shopping to get new clothes. Now I know I am
Theres Asiyah getting back on the bus!
a larger size women in a land of tiny tots so I don’t think we’ll find much. We venture out anyway. I end up buying a nightgown and underwear. One thing I did discover is the United States must send all its seconds over seas. There were plenty of American clothes. They were improperly sized, made awkwardly, stuff even Building 19 wouldnt sell. I also learned that most Moroccans do not have seasonal clothing. They wear the same thing winter & summer. Cotton Rayon blends seem to be in…doesn’t matter how hot it is they wear it! Also the traditional Moroccan woman wears pajamas, when she goes out she puts on a traditional morrocan Jalabiyah over her pajamas. the new jalabiyahs are made of rayon. Many Many women just go out in their pajamas, especially here in Jadida. I wasn’t feeling it. I decided I will wear my skirt and top everyday if I had to. I just can’t be with all of that hot clothing. I bought my daughter 2 dresses (the most simplest thing I could find amongst frills, sequins, and netting. I guess Mexico sends its seconds over too! ) and some underwear, I bought an American
Our first day at the beach!
size 8, it was too small, funny she takes a 5 at home.
The next morning my husband calls the CTM office to see if anyone returned our baggage. THEY DID!!!!
We rent a car, pick up our luggage… and officially begin our vacation….things start to get better. The only problem I still have is food. This is a great seafood area, BUT I have a seafood sensitivity/allergy.
I am sick of beef; the only vegetables I see are different squashes and the occasional salad. The salad dressing is mayonnaise. No broccoli, no green beans, no spinach, No rice…Oh yeah there is a cold rice salad with mayonnaise of course. No seasoning. Moroccan seasonings are: Salt, pepper, ginger, paprika, cumin, that’s it! I am used to eating Spanish food, Chinese food, Middle Eastern food, Pakistani food, Italian food. The choices here are eat or dont eat. I eat...get sick. I will spare you the gory details of that. BUT still, things are getting better. We go to the beach….Beautiful beach, over 10 miles of beach, but I am really disturbed by the way people just throw garbage at the beach. Why? I just don’t get it. Things like this really
seem to be getting to me, I start to question myself. I thought I was really open to different cultures and norms. But some stuff I have no understanding of…People say it has to do with education. Do you really need to be educated to know you don’t throw garbage all over the place? Just ask your self do you like it living in it. Do you like going to the beach and sitting around it? Still things are getting better. We go to the beach and We go to what I can only describe as a Moroccan Rodeo.
side note: My mother-in-law worries about everything this can be quite overbearing. Shes afraid the kids will fall out the window, so we keep the windows closed. 1. if they did fall...its not that high they would probably just get banged up. 2. My kids grew up in a 3rd floor apartment that was very high. they know about windows.
When we go to the beach she screams for ME & My HUSBAND to come in we are to far out. We stand and show her we are only up to our knees! I tell my husband to go tell
Sitting room in Jadida...rented from Sr. Keville , Br. Karim...Thanks you guys!
her I am from a state they call the ocean state I am familiar with the ocean, waves and swimming. She says no that ocean is different. My husband tells her in fact it is the same, the Atlantic! My husband then says well lets stay in the low end so she doesnt get nervous(?). I see little kids swimming past us...I go for a swim!
This nervousness or paranoidness accompanies virtually every activity we do. I tell my husband I am annoyed I think he tells his Mom.
Jadida is a coastal Town it has a very different feel than Fes & Casablanca. It needs a lot of work. There are some very pretty parts of it. The thing I love most is that it is cool! and where we are it is not crowded. I love the fact that that everybody here watches out for us. The neighborhood security guard watches our car and lets us know what to be aware of in the neighborhood, the store owner helps us from everything from renting a car, getting a repairman for a water leak, directions, activites, shopping. He helped us alot!
One of the
one of the rooms in Jadida, for Abdullah and Asiyah
local jobs that I saw daily was the collection of red seaweed (I included some pictures here). Many people collect red seaweed from the ocean, they dry it, make large rolls then export it. Brother Karims sister tell us that it is exported for to use for an ingredient in skin & hair products. (I was the one who guessed right what its possible use was for, lol)
The Morroccan Rodeo (as I like to call it) was really interesting there where thousands of tents set up. People camped out for this festival. The activity that we saw was in a stadium. All these beautifully decorated horses lined up horizontally, their riders wore old fashioned traditional dress and carried decorated rifles. Upon hearing a gun shot the horses would trot down the stadium, at first slowly increasing there speed until they would run at full speed. We surmised that this had to be done in precise presicion. When the run was done successfully...shots rang out and the crowd cheered. There was a display of falcons with their handlers, but I couldnt quite figure out what they were doing.
One of the restaurants that is pictured says something like
grillidades Poissans, is like a big fish fry, they fry the fresh fishes and shrimp that they catch right there. It looked delicious. The problem is that everyone who works there is paid depending on the customers they recruit. So this particular day we walk in, a group of 9. Everyone is trying to get us to sit in their section. We see a guy with a knife in his hand screaming and motioning towards a women who is also screaming back at him. It looks like a fight is about to break out we decide to get the hell oughtta there and eat at the restaurant across the street. While we are eating across the street we see the restaurant empty and crowd form in the street. Our new waiter laughs as me, aunt Hesna, and Khadijah run to the door to get a good look at the fight. He tells us they are always brawling over there. The pictures I took where after the crowd starts dispersing.
Another odd/funny thing that happens in Morrocco: the signs and/or pictures dont neccessarily tell you anything for instance: In a restaurant looking at a menu see a picture of a
Aunt Hesna cleans up in Jadida
nice looking rice dish...hmm I say that looks good tell the waiter I would like to have that. Waiter: oh we dont serve that its just there for decoration....oooookaaaay!
Walking down a busy street looking for an Ice cream restaurant, Hey! We see a place with a neon sign of a dish of Ice cream, I bet thats an Ice Cream store....No, the guy says, Its just one of those man cafes, the sign is just there for decoration. Well alrighty then...
dont forget to scroll all the way down to view all the pictures and click on one to see them in slides
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