At short notice, a CouchSurfing host accepted our request in Marrakech. Although he didn’t have many references on his site and had a weird profile picture, I thought everything would be fine. But I was careless: While reading the stories about our stay with O., you will find out that sometimes you meet REALLY STRANGE PEOPLE on travel.
Hard to say goodbye – Host exchange
I had already passed an amazing first week in Morocco, thanks to my wonderful CouchSurfing hosts: Anais and Zakaria. Starting from Casablanca we did an awesome road trip by car along the beautiful coast.
Then, we went to Marrakesh to pick up my Italian friend Anna at the airport, and I had to change my host. As agreed with my new host O., we met him at the station. My Morrocan friends drove us there as they wanted to make sure that my new host was trustworthy. But it is hard to judge this from the first meeting.
Actually, I was sad to say goodbye to Zakaria and Anais with whom I had spent a crazy time ! I was really lucky to have met them. Both were worried to leave me and my friend with someone else. So they warned me I had to be careful with people, especially when sleeping at stranger’s houses with CouchSurfing.
And this is the exciting, and sometimes risky thing about CouchSurfing because you never know where you will spend the night. Back then, I had always had good experiences with my hosts.
And so I agreed to spend some days with O. without having had second thoughts. My new travel mate Anna did the first time CouchSurfing and trusted me. At the first meeting, our host seemed to be very friendly and warm-hearted. Anna, who just arrived in Morocco, also felt comfortable with him and his friend.
A long walk and teatime
After Zakaria and Anais left us with O. and his friend alone, we first had to walk to another bus station. There, we should take a bus to his mother’s house in Chichaoua, a little village 70 km far away from the capital. When I asked him how far it was he said all the time, “5-10 minutes”. At the end, we walked for more than 1 hour out of the centre. Then, we had a little break in a Moroccan tea shop whose chief turned out to be the Hashish supplier of O.
By the time Anna and I walked in this local bar with our huge backpacks, all Moroccan were looking at us – as we were coming from another planet! Only men were sitting there who seemed to be extremely fascinated by an European girl with blue eyes and a “Jacky Chan” looking Asian boy. We had a Moroccan mint tea and talked much with our host. Then O. asked me if I wanted to buy some “good stuff”, but I refused.
Culture Shock in the taxi
Instead of taking the bus, my host finally called a taxi for us. Then something shocking happened that we will never forget in our life!
Only after some minutes of driving, O. started to roll a joint on the front seat. He lightened up the masterpiece and started to smoke. Everything was still fine, until the moment when he offered the joint to the taxi driver who drove crazily, and yeah… the traffic in Morocco is very chaotic – everyone does what he wants. Our driver was enjoying taking some big puffs. Sitting in the back, Anna and I were really scared. Anna who is a nonsmoker begged them to open the window. It was a strange moment and a big culture shock for us! I told them I had never seen a taxi driver smoking weed in front of his clients. Thereupon O. explained to me,
“For us, it is normal in Morocco. Many Moroccan Taxi driver smoke to feel better, to overcome their daily life routine and to forget their personal problems.”
He spoke with us in English what the driver didn’t understand.
Remember guys, Morocco is a Muslim country, where actually drugs and alcohol are strictly FORBIDDEN!
However, the taxi driver reached me the joint. As a curious person, I love to try out everything and couldn’t resist that great opportunity! I wanted to find out if Morocco deserves to be one of the biggest hashish exporter of the world, known for its good quality. And yes,it was pretty good stuff – It calmed me down and I became quite funny.
After a little while, the taxi driver made a little stop on the road in a tea shop. He got out of the car and came back with a glass of tea. Back on the road, he shared his little glass of tea with all the people in the car. Certainly, he knew that we were also thirsty from smoking! During my first week in this Muslim country, I noticed that sharing things, in general, is an essential part of the Moroccan culture. I love it ! And yeah… so we found ourselves in a taxi car while drinking tea and smoking some “shit”.
A shock of our life
Knowing that we were entrusting our life to a taxi driver who is high and a crazy racer, especially Anna, who had a clear mind, didn’t feel comfortable. – WITH REASON :
JUST IN TIME, THE DRIVER AVOIDED AN ACCIDENT!
It was night and the streets lighting was bad. While driving fast on a dark country road, a motorcycle suddenly came out of nowhere from a little side street and cut off our right of way. Our Taxi driver reacted in a matter of seconds and steered quickly to the left to avoid a big collision. Luckily, he was fast enough. Everything just happened in some seconds. You can imagine that in this moment Anna and I experienced a shock of our life ! We felt our heart heavily beating. Our host calmed us down by saying:
“Don’t worry, Hashish makes the taxi driver concentrating better!”
Welcome to Morocco ANNA ! – My Italian friend who just arrived in Morocco some hours ago 😀