Posted by: alcrabat | 5 March 2010

First Fast

By: Jennifer Collis, 1st Year ALC Teacher

I arrived in Morocco for the first time on September 17th of last year, about 20 hours after leaving my home in Tampa, Florida. I was dropped off at my hotel, Balima, and spent an evening on my balcony trying to soak it all in. After a good night’s sleep, I got up early to explore Rabat. I started with the cafe downstairs. To my surprise, people were drinking tea and coffee there. This was only surprising because of the date: I had arrived right in the middle of Ramadan! Relieved that the cafe was open, I sat down and, using my French phrasebook to order, asked for a coffee. The waiter nodded. I was hungry already, so I took a chance and made a second request, for bread. This was met with a roll of the eyes, which I didn’t need a phrasebook to translate! Later, walking around the city, I, of course, found no restaurants open. I came across an open bakery and it was swarming with people (and bees!), but I couldn’t make my way to the front, and I eventually gave up. The hungrier I got, the more I wondered how Moroccans could fast all day like this. People around me seemed friendly and calm, whereas I was grumpy and light-headed. Hours later, starving, I returned to my hotel room and ate a power bar from the box that my mom had given me at the airport. I went to bed early, so as not to get hungry again. Those power bars (and some bread with fromage rouge), ended up sustaining me for the next few days, until I went to the home of my host family on the last night of Ramadan. My first morning there, I awoke to find a feast of cookies, cakes, bread and tea covering the the breakfast table: my first proper meal in days! And so, happily, my “fast” was broken.

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Responses

  1. Welcome to Morocco! You know what they say : the only way to learn about something involves experiencing it!


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