Marrakech and Misconceptions

Posted on: July 13th, 2012 by Christopher Benson

Marrakech began with Western decadence: steaks, Cuban cigars, and the company of great men, a nice escape from the constant work and simple meals of a typical week.

Saturday morning we went to Eureka valley, an awesome sight and a fine place for rock climbing.  Classic Indiana Jones-style bridges everywhere and delicious tanjine (specially marinated and spiced chicken and vegetables) famous in Morocco.  Every plant there was sharp in some way, and then it died and left little traps all over the ground, but we climbed amongst the cacti and had a wild time.

Back in Marrakesh, the snake charmers were certainly interesting.  My friend Gary was walking a little too slowly and a man tied a snake around his neck.   When my bud Mike and I stopped for him, we each got snake necklaces as well until we paid to have our picture taken.

Tourists could have a rather inaccurate perception of Morocco from merely visiting Marrakech.  Many Moroccans there speak English, but unfortunately those that do only know it for their job, which is to make money off of tourists.  Thus when the only interaction Westerners have with Moroccans is through being shouted at, grabbed by the arm, or intimidated with drugged snakes and urinating monkeys, they’d be led to think rather poorly of these people.  While I’m not under any delusions idolizing Moroccans, they are good people.  They have strong values of respect and civility and an experience of live entirely different from ours in America.

Rolling with the punches.

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