Staying with locals is 100x’s better then walking around aimlessly on your own. We enjoyed the massive plate of homemade cous cous and sleeping on the sofas that line the tile decorated walls. Staying with a family in Fez was just what we needed and we wanted to keep the “crash with locals” train in motion. Our next town- Tangier.
Sarah was stressing about housing in Tangier because she hadn’t heard back from her friend who originally volunteered to host. Due to time pressure we had to either find a hotel or find another contact willing to open their home for two nights. Luckily a classmate of Sarah’s had the phone number of Alex, a distant connection who lived in Tangier who Sarah vaguely knew because she played basketball with him when she studied here in 2005.
She was nervous about calling him after not speaking for 2 years, but desperate times call for desperate measures. We needed housing ASAP.
Sarah works up the nerve to call him, “Hey Alex, this is Sarah from the 2005 AUI basketball team. How are you?”
“(pause) Sarah -wow- I sort of forgot about you. (joking voice) What are you doing?”
“Well I’m actually in Morocco and coming to visit Tangier tomorrow and I heard that you’re living in the area.”
By the time she got off the phone, we had free housing with he and his family. Score!
But Michelle and I weren’t expecting much. After all, he is a single guy and in his 20’s. How good of a host could he be?!
Our stereotypes of guys were quickly proven wrong during our stay. Alex set a new record for hospitality. He not only picked us up from the train station, he took us to the ferry to pick up our cousin, fed us at this posh Japanese restaurant, drove us around the city, took us to the beach area and introduced us to his friends later that evening. Here is my favorite part: when we were talking in the car he said, “The only problem is that we have a French pastry chief.” ha! We first laughed at his comment, but 5 free pastries later we started to understand how French desserts could be a problem. I’m sure I’m adding on the pounds. Oh well- it’s worth it.
Moroccan hospitality puts us all to shame. Alex, who received a call from my sister the night before canceled his schedule for the next two days just to make sure we had a good time in Tangier. amazing.