Chaos. If I were to describe Casablanca in one word, it would be chaos. We landed in Casablanca on a cool, foggy December morning. The smells of a small town market greeted us while walking through the baggage claim where mountains of baggage wrapped in plastic were piled off to the side. That is the instant that I realized, we are in a completely new country. Immediately stepping out of the terminal, we were bombarded with taxi offers. Like a noob, we got in the first car, a dilapidated Mercedes with a man claiming to know where our hostel was with little thought. He drove us down the road to another taxi, and switched cars. Seems legit (/s), right?
Our driver was breathing heavily and refused to follow any traffic rules, then again, neither does anyone here. I reached for my seat belt, but the driver looked confused. I would later read that it is an insult to his driving skills if I put it on. The buckle didn't even work anyway. I love it. Two lanes marked meant four lanes of busy, honking, traffic in any direction. Cars zooming in and out with pedestrians filling the gaps. It worked some how. This was not the Casablanca I imagined, but something about all the chaos was comforting. We reached our hotel, Hotel Astrid, in downtown Casablanca, just in time for a nap, catching up on the lost hours from the plane.
We met our friends Ryan and Thanecha and went to go explore up the road on the way to a super market. We stopped on the way back, and made some friends at a corner store, and proceeded to eat the best couscous. Ever.
Trendy. This is the second word to describe Casablanca after you get past the initial chaos and shock of a foreign city. The locals dress incredibly nice. Fresh hair cuts, fashionable coats, and scarves to go to the moon and back. Fashion store and fashion store, the streets are lined with the incredible deals that they offer to locals and tourist alike. The locals also love the sight of a camera. They are eager to pose for any picture you are taking. Casablancans are incredibly nice people, each with a smile to win you over with little effort.
Charming. The third and final word about this place. What started out as chaos, ends with charm. This city is great so far. The people. The architecture. The food. And the tea. Oh god, the mint tea. I can do that every day for the rest of my life. Having a glass of mint tea, in Africa, will never get old. I cant wait to come back here in a week and spend a couple of days here.
Next stop, Meknes.