Well the month of Ramadan has come to a close. And the streets of Marrakech are back to their usual hustle and bustle.
I remember when I was booking my ticket to Morocco, I wanted to be here before Ramadan started. People thought I was crazy for wanting to travel in a Muslim country during Ramadan. Businesses would be working reduced hours. Things would be slower. It would be hard to find a restaurant open during the day. Add to this the Marrakech heat!
Well, they were certainly right.
But in my head I was thinking, these are the type of people that go travelling and hit up McDonald’s, or head to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean and think they’ve seen places like Cuba.
Being here provided an opportunity to see another side of the culture. To get a deeper understanding of the religion and the role it plays in people’s daily lives. To share great meals with friends as we broke our fast. To understand how hard it is to go without food or drink during the day while still going about our daily lives in +45 ‘C on some days (lack of coffee was nearly the death of me!), something the poor and less fortunate deal with on a daily basis.
It was a chance to slow down. To take an afternoon siesta. To work reduced hours.
The festive atmosphere following break fast (ftour) was incredible. Meeting friends for coffee at 10 p.m. in packed cafes. Enjoying a tajine at 3 a.m. for dinner. Preparing fresh fruit juices to enjoy after sunset. The yummy chebakiya, harira, fresh dates and lentil tajines.
Above all, it was an opportunity to see the true beauty of the place and the generosity of the people.
After all, any anthropologist or true traveller will tell you that the best way to experience a culture is to live it. And live it I did.
Thank you to all the lovely friends who shared the experience with me and invited me into their homes to share a meal. It’s an experience I’ll cherish forever!