Casablanca

When I finally landed in Casablanca around 12:00 am, I felt like a dream had finally come true. I’ve always dreamt about traveling to Casablanca since i was a child. Reading stories and watching films when I was younger fascinated me.  I didn’t really have any big expectations, I just wanted to be there. 

I was a long way from where my hotel was, so I decided to catch a taxi. The taxi driver seemed cool, and he could speak English really well. He was telling me about all the cool things to see in Casablanca, such as the Mosque by the ocean. He told me about the time he lived in New York City with his cousin. From the conversation, I could tell that he is a big fan of the United States. Before I notice we had arrived to the hotel I was staying at for the night. The ride seemed quick even though it was a 50 minute ride from the airport. The taxi driver helped with my bags and gave me a hug, he then handed me his card and told me to call him if I need a tour around the city. I thought to myself that it might be convience to have someone on call to take me around the city. So I put the card in my wallet and said, “thank you.” When I arrived to the door of the hotel, I saw that there was a sign on the door saying will return in Arabic and in English. So, I took a seat on the step and started to play with some of the cats that were hanging around the hotel. Finally, 15 minutes later a rather larger person eating some type of meat sandwich arrived. He asked me how could he help me, and I told him that I was checking in. It was a pretty quick process and I went to my room and crashed. 

I woke up later that date around 9 AM, did a couple of push ups and went down stairs to get breakfast. I went to this cool cafe in the hotel that was serving breakfast. The breakfast was ok, it consisted of a boiled egg, bread, some fruit, and a tea or coffee. I met a couple that has been traveling in Casablanca for a few days. They gave me a few recommendations on areas I should visit, and restaurants that are really good. After breakfast I went upstairs brushed my teeth and got ready to check out. 

I caught a taxi and check in my next hotel. Before leaving I decided to take my camera and notepad with me, because I wanted to take the day slow seeing sites and enjoying the experience. I usually don’t have a destination in mind, I usually just let my feet and eyes decided where I go. To me that’s the best way to travel, because there are no expectations and everything is a surprise. On my walk I bought a 90s VHS camcorder from a very strange shop that sold a lot of crazy items. I saw everything from 70s French porn, to Pokemon cards. I was feeling a little tired, I have been walking for almost 2 hours, so I decided to stop at a cafe. After hanging out at the cafe for about an 30 minutes to an hour I decided to go see the mosque by the ocean. Walking around Casablanca I passed by a lot of areas that were pretty bad. The whole fantasy that I had of Casablanca was shatter by the harsh reality that this is a city that’s in real bad shape. The amount of people that I saw begging on the street was astounding. I think that a lot of people aren’t aware about the poverty in a lot of cities in Morocco. 

When I finally made it to the Mosque I was amazed by the beauty and how large it was. I’m not the type of person that visit the inside of some religious places, I decided not to go into the mosque because of that reason and the line was super long. I started to walk towards the beach, maybe I will go swimming or at least put my feet into the water. When I began to come closer to the water, I could see how disgusting the water was. There was so much trash in the water from people it was bad, you could also smell a bad stench coming from the sea. I saw people swimming and fishing in the ocean, not caring about the stench or the pollution in the water. That was a big disappointment so I decided to go to somewhere else. 

I found a taxi driver really quickly, and he was trying to convince me on renting him for the whole day for a tour. His price was too high, so I asked him to drop me off in the Mecca by the castle of the king. We arrived and he asked me if he could walk with me? I didn’t care so we walked around for about an hour. During that time we went to a couple of shops and a book store. I asked him if he knew of any good places to eat in this area, and he recommended me a restaurant where a lot of people go to when they visit Casablanca. So, I went and I really enjoyed the meal, it was a large meal for pretty cheap. After the driver drove me back to my hotel room. 

When I arrived to my room, I had a real bad need to smoke some weed or hash. I didn’t know anyone here, I decided to walk the streets to see if I could find anyone that will sell me some. Within 10 minutes I walked passed three guys, they were huddled together and it seemed that they were trying to make a joint. I thought to myself, I know these guys probably have some hash. One of the guys was covered from head to legs with tattoos. I asked them if they spoke English, and one of them replied,”yes.” I asked them if they had any hash that I could purchase? One of the guys the only English speaking guy whose name is Bilal,  said yea and he passed me the joint that was just made. He asked me how much did I need? I told Bilal about 2 grams, and he said yea. Bilal gave me the hash, and I gave him a donation for his services. Bilal asked me if I wanted to go to a bar to have a few drinks. In my mind I was like I don’t know if I should do this because I don’t know these guys, but on the other hand I didn’t want to be rude. I said yea, and I thought to myself that I shouldn’t get to fucked up and be aware of the area that I was going. 

After for walking for 15 minutes we finally arrived to a bar. The bar was cool, in my opinion it was very Moroccan. We had a few drinks and after 45 minutes of being there Bilal asked if I wanted to go to a club that’s on the beach. Bilal said there would be a lot of girls there. Not thinking that it was Sunday and people might not be there because of work the next day and plus it was Sunday, and I said yea why not. We walked to his car and we drove around for another 30-45 minutes, and during this time I was asked twice if I wanted to smoke some crack. That’s not my type of party so I kindly declined. 

When we arrived there was hardly anyone there, and 90% of the people that was in the club were male. We had a few drinks and Bilal recommended another place that had a pool. When we arrived there we found out that it was closed. Bilal recommended just driving around looking for some girls. We drove around for like 5 minutes, and Bilal drove up to these two girls and started to speaking to them. While talking to them he begin to get excited, and I asked him what was going on. He told me that these two girls wanted to hang with us but one of the guys had to leave. I was like that was kind of weird, and Bilal told one of the guys to leave the car. To my surprise the guy did. I asked Bilal again what’s going on? He told me that these girls are prostitutes and one of the girls is 15. I was like whoa man this is too much for me. He said, ” what’s wrong this is Moroccan style, and they have to feed their family.” I was like ok whatever, just pull the car to the side so I can piss before we do this. Bilal pulled the car to the side and I got out the car and started running trying to find the next taxi so I could go back to my hotel room. When I finally arrived to my hotel room, I booked a train ticket for the next day leaving Casablanca. 

-EC

Enzo Cole