All Tangined Out
Moroccan food is tasty, but seems very limited. Tangines, Cous-Cous, Pastillas, and briochette are the bulk of every menu we have seen. It’s only been five days, but I think I’d have enough. If only I could find a good Thai or Indian restaurant!
Since Rabat is on the coast and we have only been on the Moroccan interior so far, I was hoping to get introduced to some different items. However, it just meant there were some fish offerings in the tagine and pastilla.
Rabat isn’t frequented by tourists, as most go to Casablanca instead. This mean English was virtually non-existent, leaving us dependant on Kudah’s survival French. When I say survival, I mean literally – it got us to the police station!
Note to any Google employees out there, *hint hint*, “fix the Google Maps street locations in Rabat. Our Riad was impossible to find, partly because Google Maps had an incorrect location, conveniently in the wrong direction from the station we arrived into, and was missing most of the street names. We did have a back-up plan though – our hosts in Meknes had provided us with a hand-scrawled map. While this got us in the general vicinity of our Riad, the survival French got us thoroughly lost. Since no one knew either where the Riad was or perhaps they couldn’t understand Kudah’s French, everyone directed us to the local police outpost, where a few officers took pity on our plight and telephoned our Riad telling them to send someone to rescue a pair of stray tourists. I have to say, Moroccan hospitality really shone through their burnished, shiny patent leather boots!
Finally, Benoit, our Riad host came to fetch us. The Riad was impossible to find, primarily because it was on a little alley, without any signage. We had, in fact, passed it twice as we wandered the streets! The Riad was actually just Benoit’s house, where he had set aside a few extra rooms for guests. This was made clear as there was no pushiness to have us have an expensive dinner at the Riad and no well dressed servant ready with mint tea in hand upon arrival. Instead, Benoit’s mom, who happened to be visiting from France, popped her head out of the kitchen, cigarette in hand, with a friendly “Bon jour”. It was homely and perfect for our time in Rabat.
Rabat is a clean city, consisting of a walled medina, the new city, and the Kasbah, an old part of the town sitting on the coast. The medina was like the others, although most of the shops were more about local goods – leather boots, coats, and bootleg DVDs. The Kasbah was my favourite part. It reminded me a little of what I think Santorini would look like (although I haven’t been yet) – It had white washed walls and windy streets – all sitting on top of a hill overlooking the beach.