You have probably heard about Couchsurfing, - people who open up their home for you to stay a night or more for free. It's a great way to meet likeminded people, learn about their culture and get the best tips what to do in the area.
We have used Couchsurfing a lot when we cycled in Australia and we also couch surfed us through Switzerland and Italy and that was the best experience ever. We made so many friends. We like to offer us to cook dinner if we stay with somebody as they let us stay there for free. We also like to bring a little gift with us.
Now I want to tell you about our Couchsurfing experience in Morocco.
Our second night in Morocco was in Rabat the capital and we had organised a couchsurfer we stayed with there.
We arrived just after 8 in the evening as they had Ramadan in Morocco at the time.
It's law to follow Ramadan if you are Muslim in Morocco, so basically if you are an Moroccan you are Muslim.
We parked our car outside Rabat and took a taxi into The city as we didn't want to drive in Rabat. Have I mention the traffic in Morocco? If I say that Morocco has the highest accident rate in the world that will explain how it is to drive in Morocco.
It was a lot of markets packed with people in Morocco, It wasn't easy to drive through them.
Kersit lived in a bit more quieter part of Rabat, When we arrived he showed us around in his little appartment he and his younger sister shared together.
He gave us a pair of slippers to wear inside. But you were only allowed to wear them on the floor so if you walked on the rugg you had to take the slippers off. They had Ruggs around the couch in the Tv room and in the the bedroom near the bed. Apparently this is how they do in Morocco. It was a bit difficult first to remember.
The house was very simple inside with not so much things on the walls or other things to make it look like a nice home.
His sister were cooking when we arrived and we were hanging around the house for couple of hours. At 11 pm we went outside to a cafe for tea together with two friends of him.
It was people everywere on the street. Under Ramadan they eat just before 8pm and then they go for tea later in the night. Jakob was hungry so they went to get some food for Jakob while I was waiting at the cafe. It was packed with people on the street and after a while I realised that I'm the only girl there. After I asked Kersit why it was like this, he told me the women aren't allowed out on the street, they are at home cooking.
We were drinking typical Moroccon tea, Mint tea with sugar, talking about the different between countries like Morocco and Sweden, traveling and cultures.
I asked Kersit how he find the Ramadan and if it is hard to fast and not eat all day, I was so surprised of the answer I got, he told me that he is eating at home when no one knows. If you are Moroccan and somebody see you eat during Ramadan you will get arrested and end up in jail. It's crazy hey?
Kersit told me he is a non believer Muslim. But something he couldn't tell anyone except his closest friends, his younger sister and brothers because they don't believe in Islam either. But he could never tell his parents or older sister that.
It must be so hard. Sometimes we don't realise how lucky we are in the western countries.
After our tea break and nice conversations we walked back home and Kersit sister served us dinner. The time was now past midnight. This was a part of their routines over Ramadan. They also work less hours during the day.
Things like this makes me realise how lucky we are that can believe and have power over our life!
If you haven't tried Couchsurfing, check it out!
// Gina Johansen xx