this is my first time on the african continent (which has always been my dream destination regardless of the country), it is my first time in a muslim country, and in a country where you have to barter to pay for absolutely everything, where you are not sure whether you can ask for directions without being harassed for money. people say that america is a place where money makes the world go round, but i say it's any third world country, they love their money. i on the other hand, can't say i appreciate this obsession (or maybe it's desperation). there are some wonderful people here, and perhaps everyone's greed makes those people stand out that much more, but it's sad that they have to suffer because of the incompetence of the rest of society. at the same time, because they make my time here so stressful and make me feel unwelcome it is hard to feel sorry for the poverty that touches here. and there is lot's of it, and maybe morocco is not even classified as a third world country, but coming from portugal, which itself was not in my eyes the richest of places, the contrast is very, very obvious. the worst are the women, dirty, with a child or two under their arm begging in the streets for any kind of change and the starving cats of course, i can never turn away. but again how can you give anything to people who throw your money on the ground because they don't think what you give them is enough (case in point, i took some photos of the "snake charmers", and i put that in quotes because this charming was more like playing the fucking trumpet in the snakes face, pissing it off and waiting for it to attack you. i knew we had to pay them something so i came prepared with some change, i gave him a dollar for the "show", he took my money, threw it on the ground, told me that wasn't enough, that he wanted 10 dollars instead!!.. WHAT!! these people are ridiculous, how can i pay 3 dollars for a dinner and give this fucking "snake charmer" 10? they don't understand the concept of street performing, or fixed prices for that matter, but that is an entirely different issue, they also don't understand the concept of giving change and finalizing transactions and please notice the poor chained monkey, what wouldn't i give to save those monkeys) i feel like i am being scammed every single moment of the day, my body sweats so much from never letting go of my camera and my bag. i can appreciate the beauty of this place, because everywhere you turn is an amazing photo opportunity, their culture is rich and they have couscous, but isn't the way we see any given country at large influenced by the people of that country? their hospitality? why then, do they have to stress me out so.
p.s. this is only our first destination here in morocco so this may yet take a positive turn. our hostel is amazing here, it is truly an oasis, both from the madness of the market as well as the 40+ degree weather, thanks to it's courtyard pool and the amazing decor. have i mentioned yet how much i want to come back here one day to furnish my entire house. the furniture is out of this world. 'you too can be a sultan, if you have furniture from morocco' :)