As I’d missed out on food before the long bus ride, I tried to find a cafe where I could sit down for a meal, but it turns out that cafes in Casablanca only sell coffee, not food. Not even snacks. Besides that, they seemed to be filled with men just hanging out watching a world cup match. So I once again had to give up on my dreams of food and just use the WiFi instead.
Once online, I’d received a message from my host saying that he could no longer host me, so I madly tried to find another host and luckily a couple of Khalids I had been conversing with in the weeks prior to my trip came to the rescue.
The first Khalid, let’s call him Khalid no 1, tried to organise a car to drive the 70km from the town he was in, to pick me up, then drive 70km back to the town and host me there.
The Second Khalid, let’s call him Khalid no 2, also offered to help me out by picking me up and hosting me at his place in Casablanca. Once at his place I met his housemates, one of which was hilariously walking around dancing, instead of talking, whilst on a video call to his girlfriend.
After chatting with Khalid no 2, the other housemates and the girlfriend for a bit, Khalid drove me and one of his housemates around for food and a tour of the city which included the biggest mosque in Africa, Hassan II Mosque, as well as the beach area which is apparently where everyone, from partygoers, to families, to rose and toy sellers come out to play at night. The beachside promenade was lined with restaurants and clubs, although clubs seem to serve a slightly different purpose here to what they do in other places. There was no pounding music and drunken dancing, just people sitting around and chatting while smoking and eating.
The next morning, Khalid didn’t want to get up, so his friend drove me to the train station where I boarded a train for a short ride to a little town, 70 kilometres away, called Settat. Once I’d bought my ticket, I went to a small snack shop at the station to get some food before my trip and saw there were tacos available. They were just meat and vegetables wrapped in tortillas, which is a little bit different to the tacos I’m used too! I guess they don’t do Mexican food well in Morocco.
The train was not airconditioned, but I didn’t become aware of that until more than halfway through the journey, when the seat I was sitting in ended up in the direct path of the sun. Let’s just say that last part of the ride was uncomfortable enough that I was really glad to exit the train once we arrived!
Additional things I’ve learned about Morocco
– Moroccans will go out of their way to help someone in need
– Locals can’t comprehend having a meal without bread