Growing pains

“The Dirham has released the Euro and the Dollar.” For me, the words have a different load than the macroeconomic relevance. They sound like a child leaving his parents and going to live by herself for the first time. Still a little shaky but full of youthful confidence and hubris moving towards an uncertain future….

Guerrilla road war

This is a story of shame. It starts innocently: I surrender to the traffic in Morocco, marvelling at its ‘rules’. I enjoy weaving through traffic, pushing my way in, driving four-wide on a two-lane road, honking impatiently and driving incredibly silly, even outright dangerously. The first irritations surface quickly. I start talking to fellow road…

It rains heavenly water

Cold, stormy and inclement weather that is accompanied by enormous rain showers; The opening of the heavens allows a first wave of joy to flow over Morocco: Rain! Finally the drought is over. It produces beautiful pictures. Tornadoes develop at sea and are filmed from the Corniche in Rabat and shared on social media. At…

Horncode

There are countries in the world where you wonder why car manufacturers still install a horn function in the car. Rarely will anyone make use of it, because its use is considered indecent or even antisocial. This is not the case for Morocco. First of all, a good clear and especially powerful horn increases the…

Masters of the deal

Whether it concerns soccerpayment, the purchase of a refrigerator, the height of the traffic-fine, the making of a hor, the polishing of your marble floor, buying fruit and vegetables, making a table or the purchase of four screws with plugs: the price is negotiable. Negotiation belongs to Morocco as the minaret to the Mosque. It…

Red walls, lines and a gas bottle

On the way from the airport near Casablanca to our future home in Rabat, one detail in the landscape is clearly catching my eyes: red walls. Complete side walls of an apartment block covered in red paint. Between the mostly white, yellow or gray plastered concrete, the red is almost detonating. It is not a…

Shopping cart behavior

As a Dutchman I do not know better than that you use a shopping cart for your groceries, you then load the groceries in the car and put the cart back where it belongs: with the other carts. This appears to be slightly more nuanced in Morocco. Here you leave your cart just after you…

Tradition meets renewal

The Ferrari and the flat cart pulled by a horse or donkey, ride side to side through the streets of Morocco. Even in Rabat. Apart from this contrast, I remember that on one of our first trips in Morocco along the coastal road to El Jadida, we encountered countless flat carts along the way. Fully…

Poverty

He stands pontifically in front of our car with his shirt of the Moroccan national soccer team and he points to the shirt of our youngest son. He also wears a Moroccan national soccer shirt. As he slowly walks towards the side window of my youngest, he points out: ”Look, we are wearing the same…

Parking machines

Sometimes the modernization of a country sets in too fast. Creators of an innovation forget that reality is more stubborn than the drawing board. In Morocco the best example is on the street, at the parking attendants. These self-appointed bosses from the curbs of the city have a self-created job in a self-created universe: the…