Hey friends, sorry I havent really written, we have been busy the last week showing our friends Mark and Agnes around Morocco, so didn’t have much time to write, but I will update you more about that soon… for now, a little bit about my transportation adventures…
There are so many ways of getting around here. Two days in I thought I had seen it all, but new vehicles and styles are appearing every time I turn my head.
Trains: I have been in Morocco over a week and have ridden at least ten trains. They are pretty comfortable and reliable, and seem to be the prefered method of long distance travel. It is a little uncomfortable if you have a lot of heavy luggage that wont fit in the overhead racks… but that is another story.
Taxis: The next major mode of transportation is the taxi, and so far I know of three different kinds (but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more). The petit taxi is color coded according to city (light blue for Meknes, cherry red for Casablanca, etc) and is the cutest, obviously. It only holds three people, but it will take you anywhere you want to go. Big taxis are all Mercedes, which is an automatic point in their favor, although they are all grey, so they aren’t really pretty. I have never seen so many Mercedes in my life! You can fit six people in these (four in the back, two in the front, plus driver… yeah if you do the math, you figure these guys are not super fans of seatbelts, although they are required by law). Big taxis work like buses: They travel a specific route, so you have to find the right one to take you where you want to go. Also, often they will stop and wait until they are full, so you might sit there ten minutes waiting for more passengers. Still, they are super cheap, 2 to 5 Dirhams, which is less than a dollar. Finally, there is the tourist taxi. It looks exactly like a big taxi, but you only find them at major tourist stops, and it will take you wherever you want to go, like the petit taxi. I am still not sure whether we caught that one on purpose…
Bus: The bus is just like any other bus, and seems to come pretty frequently. The weird thing is that it costs the same to take a bus or a taxi, so what you take basically depends on how much of a hurry you are in and which one you find first.
Other: Things I have seen but havent tried, yet:
Pretty little surry with the fringe on the top. No joke they are everywhere. If you don’t know what this is, you should go watch Oklahoma immediately.
Donkey: They are so tiny and adorable, it is amazing how much they can carry! They are all over, hauling groceries, people, carts, mineral soil. I think EarthCorps should invest in a few for trail projects… The second day here, I saw a donkey cart almost run into a taxi… the one I was in! His face was two inches from my window and he didn’t flinch or even slow down. Drissia always warns me that the drivers here wont stop for you, but I bet the taxis would stop for you before the donkey would.
Moped: good for zipping around and through traffic. We saw one pair of mopeds traveling together, and the people on the moped in the back were pushing the people on the moped in the front. I am not sure if they had run out of gas, or just didn’t feel like pedaling, or just couldn’t go as fast as their friends… I wanted to take a picture, but couldn’t get my camera out in time.
Bike: If you really want to take up the road and keep from getting run over, just ride in pairs. We saw two bicyclists riding side by side, holding on to each others arms, as though they were pretending to be one car. Also, bikes are great when your moped breaks down. I saw one guy riding his bike into town with his moped strapped on the back. I couldn’t believe he could ride like that, since the moped was at least twice the size of the bike.