Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Jake H. - Rabat, Morocco - Fall 2009

Hello to those from Elmhurst, after backpacking around Europe and Morocco for a bit I am now with my study abroad program. Let me tell you traveling is a lot less stressful when you are with a program and they take care of transportation and you know where you are going to sleep that night. You
are going to talk plenty on culture shock and let me tell you. An Arabic country like Morocco during Ramadan is very different from the great “night
life” of the Chicago area.
First impressions; no matter where I have traveled especially
here in Morocco, I have noticed that you can not “blend in”. If I was to do
what I thought I was supposed to and dress conservative, I would stick out. Here in Rabat if you’re not wearing “D&G” or “Burberry” you stick out, but that is not a problem because they are all extremely cheap (not real but cheap). It’s a lot warmer than Chicago is especially for you now. I am told that it is warm enough to surf all year round, so that’s exciting. We have an apartment that’s next to parliament so I get to watch the protests that go on every day between 4-6 p.m.
The foods good, the Sahara desert is cool, monkey’s, clubs, the king, tanneries, camels, genies, and flying carpets all help to make this place awesome to see, so I guess try to make it out here I’ll be this way for a year so have fun, plan a lot so you can have an awesome trip.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, your adventure in Morocco sounds incredibly exciting. I have never been to the middle east but have always wanted to go and spend time there. Do people recognize you as American right away or just foreign? I just wonder what the sentiment towards Americans is in Morocco. What are you plans with your Arabic for the future?

Felicia Palazzo (Elmhurst Student, class '10)

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sorry to take so long to respond. People here tend to think that anyone who is white or doesn't speak Arabic is French; once they realize that I don't speak French they realize that I must be American. But, the sentiment toward Americans the opposite of what most people think it would be. I am taking classes at a school where I am the only white guy and I believe the only foreign student. When I am there or even out one the street people invite me to eat or just hang out with them.

For the lower-class people here life is not so great, they like to talk to Americans because from what I have seen some people have built America up and have a fantasized version of the States. They would love to go but the system is set up so they can’t leave. For the upper-class they have grown up watching American movies, listening to the music, and most plan to go to America for their master’s degree. So for at least some, the Americans they see represent one of their fantasies so they love to see us.

As for my plans, I have no idea I only studied Arabic for about 6mo before headed here, it was implosive but, I may continue my education in it and see where it takes me.
I would highly recommend coming here tho, it is an amazing country with great people.


6:43 PM  

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