Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I was walking home the other day past the hotel on my street where I heard a tourist yelling at a Moroccan guy about the price of a taxi.  She was sure that 150 dirhams for the taxi from the airport was 10 times the real price.  Actually, it's the going price and there was probably more than one person in their party since they were tourists.  The hotel clerk was being very polite and patient with a type of rudeness he must encounter frequently.

Morocco is not a free country.  Yes, that's exactly what I said.  Things cost money here just like everywhere else and increasingly, the prices are becoming more like those in Europe.  Gone are the days of wandering around for pennies a day while mooching off the hospitality of locals.  Moroccans are still hospitable and generous to a fault at home, but if you want that trinket or you eat in a restaurant or crave that maqooda dumpling, it's going to cost you more than a dirham or two or three. 

It's the same when you have something shipped into the country.  There are customs taxes on certain items and EVERY country has this, not just Morocco.  Other countries have more severe restrictions on what can be shipped in order to prevent competition with their local businesses.  In many cases, when you are reasonable and nice, and haven't shipped in a new computer or high-priced sneakers or whatever, the authorities just look the other way and send you on your way. 

But, it's their call, not yours.


  1. Well, well, I have just finished reading your blog and frankly can not help stop reading 'others' point of view. It is amazing how can one get about his own culture by reading foreigners accounts. And since it is a blog I was aware that many viewpoints 'judgments' were personal, and yes it is a free place to express one's self. Thus, I would like to express my light disagreement regarding some ideas you discussed, like the shallow development of Moroccan men mentality. Yes, you are woman in a third world country, so yes we are certainly the kind of people you think we are. Sexually thirsty, having no clue about sexual education and stuff. I wish only if you could read some Arabic blogs treating the issue of westerners. Well, most of them elaborate with the same objectivity!
    Come on, when shall we grow up and look for parts that build a bridge rather than dig that hole more more.
    FYI: I am a Moroccan! middle class, educated (so not looking for foreign women!!).

  2. Hi Allgood, I want to respond to you because you mentioned on another comment the problem with the harassment is global, not local. You are so right!!

    Morocco is not the only place this happens and I am by no means trying to imply this bad behavior is Moroccan culture because it's not. It's a subculture outside of the cultural norm that's prevalent in underdeveloped countries and many people are unaware of it. That's why I linked to Romancescams website.

    The issues I have discussed are issues I deal with frequently. They are not hearsay. Some of the situations are so old now that when it happens yet again, I honestly can't believe it. History repeats itself!

    In the case of my daughter, relating her experience was intended to educate. She should not have confronted a man on the street and expected to succeed. I am not defending him either, just saying anybody who is bold enough to pinch a woman's ass in broad daylight is certainly brave enough to strike back.

    You are obviously one of the guys I mentioned who isn't going to be involved in these street situations because you have a life and something going on that doesn't involve using women to get out of Morocco. Unfortunately, you're the kind of guy these women only wish they could meet.

    Thanks for commenting. I appreciate your opinion and feedback.

  3. Haha sobhanAllah some people have a lot of patience!