Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Chella and Sale Rabat, Morocco, Wednesday, 17 December 2008 4:15pm

I walked too much today. First, down to Chellah, a site of ruins of the Roman town that preceded Rabat and of a necropolis that the Merenids built on top of it. Then back into the center of town for lunch.

I poked around a few car rental places, and I think I've determined that it's more hassle than it's worth to try to rent a car for my wanderings. After lunch, I took a taxi to the bus station to investigate when buses leave for Larache. The answer seems to be "hourly".

Then I took another cab back to Le Tour Hassan. I wanted to go to Sale, but I think that the blue taxis they have here aren't allowed to leave the city. It's still pretty unclear. So I asked for the only monument I knew within easy walking distance of the bridge to Sale.

I'm having quite a bit of trouble with language. Everyone seems to believe that I speak French, even after I've told them I don't. For some reason, it's really hard for me to not respond in Spanish when I'm spoken to in a foreign language. Even when I know the Arabic for what I want to say (rare!). So a conversation starts with me trying to say something in phrasebook Arabic, the person responding in French, me telling them in French that I don't speak French, then me asking the follow-up question in Spanish. The one exception was one cab driver who spoke good English who accidentally spoke to me in Arabic. He said it was because my beard makes me look Moroccan. I'm not sure I believe him. Clean shaves, moustaches, aggressively groomed goatees, and bushy beards seem common here, but short full beards don't.

I spent the afternoon wandering around Sale, then caught a (white) taxi back to Rabat, along with five Moroccan women (the large taxis are shared). It's a little strange to me that women here are modest enough to clothe themselves from wrist to foot, with headscarf, but don't think twice about packing 7 people in a small car. I spent the early evening not-shopping on the Rue des Consuls, which is where most of the crafts markets are.


Touch but don't look? Quincy (Anonymously) Thursday, 18 December 2008 1:55pm

Sounds like a fun cab ride.

Kyra (Anonymously) Thursday, 18 December 2008 10:38pm

The language-mixing sounds confusing and frustrating. What were your favorite crafts during your non-buying excursion?