Saturday, August 8, 2015

Battles of Palaces: Bahia vs Badi



The history behind Marrakesh is actually really fascinating – and that’s saying something considering I usually I lack the capabilities to understand and remember any stories of the past. Here’s a random fact for you: did you know that Marrakesh was actually the whole of Morocco at one point?

I can go on and on about some of the most historical buildings in Marrakesh – the grand gates all around the city, Jamaa el Fna, the mosques – but what amazes me most here are the palaces, the Bahia and the Badi to be exact. Located just a few minutes away from each other, each palace has a unique story to tell, from their history all the way to the facade of ruins that’s left behind.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Few Things I Learned From My Sahara Trip


Apparently, one can learn a few new things after taking a Sahara trip, whether it be random good-to-knows or some new perspectives in life. I personally lean more towards the latter – more along the lines of “I’ve never been more thankful that I live in such a modern age where I don’t need to count on animals for transportation and where we have a functional plumbing system!” 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Essaou-ira


Well known fact: you cannot spell Essaouira, the beautiful harbor city only two hours away from Marrakesh, without the word “Ira” – and that is why I am concluding that this city, dubbed as “The Wind City of Africa” is where I should spend the rest of my life in. Beautiful views of beaches and fortresses, pleasant hippie atmosphere, cheap souvenirs*, and the perfect breezy weather during summer is just a few things that I will put in my powerpoint presentation that I’m making to convince my parents that at the very least Essaouira should be the destination for our next family holiday. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Food and Feasts

I’ll say this upfront: living in Marrakesh, whether during Ramadan* or not, can be difficult. Whilst I cannot vouch for its conditions during winter (which I hear can be extremely cold), I can definitely say that if you are not used to the ridiculous high temperatures that it has during summer, you might want to cancel your plans of touring the city during the day to simply stay home or seek shelter at an air-conditioned cafe to beat the heat.


However, the food and hospitality of the local people makes up for the ungodly heat. Seriously though, whether it be the panini and pizzas of your neighborhood cafe, or the tajine and mint tea from your Moroccan friends during Eid dinner, I have yet to be disappointed by the taste of the food that has colored my palette. 




Monday, July 13, 2015

Keeping Up With the Moroccans

Let me be blunt – living the Moroccan lifestyle, at least during Ramadan, can be quiet a challenge for someone who treasures their sleep (read: me).  It has been five days since I first arrived in Marrakesh but I have yet to conquer my sleepiness and keep up with the Moroccan night life. Yes, at times like these I do realize that I sound like an old lady who won’t stop complaining about the ‘kids these days!’ – but what can I say? I’m a 20-year-old with the energy of an 8-year-old in the morning and the grouchiness of an 80-year-old grumpy granpa at night. To put in simpler terms: I am undeniably a morning person. So even though I have to do mandatory hangouts with the other 50-ish people in the same AIESEC project as I am at 2 PM at the local mall, followed by another hangout at a pool club at 4, and then a big feast for iftor at 8, finished off by a walk around the souk until 1 AM (not to mention the long time it took to get back to the apartment), I would still be wide awake before 6 AM – with a headache and hunger pains as I still have to fast for Ramadan but failed to stay awake to consume breakfast (or sahur) before Subh


That being said, I am still amazed at the amount of energy the Moroccan nightlife has to offer. The burst of life after 9 PM makes up for the lack thereof during the day – where hardly any shops in the streets are open and the amount of people you see outside can be counted by a single hand. As most of the people in the organizing committee says, ‘Morocco during the day is boring, but at night time it is a life of a party.*

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Not Comfortable With Being Comfortable



This is embarrassing to admit, but I've considered myself to be quiet a wuss - at least recently. Why, you ask? Because in my 20 years of existence, the most "daring" thing I've ever done (and still quite proud of, for some reason) was confronting a guy in my class about him telling lies about me. I've always been afraid of face-to-face confrontation for as long as I can remember, so what I did back then took a lot of courage.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

And So I Put My Reading Glasses On

What happens when you leave me in a bookstore for over two hours? I go crazy buying books, that's what. And what happens when I receive a $10 voucher from my online magazine shop - Zinio? I go crazy hauling some mags, obviously. And if both of these situations happen in same the time? I end up extremely happy.

That's basically the highlight of my week - hauling on several reads and reading until the sun shows up the next day. Since a couple of months ago I stopped reading novels and magazines completely in order to focus on my university entrance exams. But now that that's over and done with I thought what better way to spend your free time than to get new books to read? Nothing, really - considering it's ramadan (which for me means the activities I can do are limited by my inability to eat nor drink during daytime) and all my friends are busy with either uni things or getting into uni...

So yeah, I hauled.