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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

17th Stop - Casablanca

I want to start out by reiterating what I said in a previous post about how welcome I felt in Morocco, and this is mostly thanks to two of the people I spent most of my time with there: Nezha and Cornelia. But before I tell you more about Nezha, Cornelia, and Casablanca, let me tell you about the drive from Rabat.

Moroccan GPS
I was just about to get on the highway when I saw a hitchhiker. I was getting sick and tired of driving all alone and not optimizing my carbon footprint so I decided to pick him up. Rachid was his name and he was on his way to Agadir to get his daughter and bring her back to Rabat for the summer holidays. We talked at length about the differences between Rabat and Casablanca, especially the restaurants since Rachid works as a waiter. As we got closer to Casablanca, I told him I had to go to the Institut Culturel Français in the center of town and asked him where he wanted me to drop him off. Then he offered me to use his phone so I could call Nezha to find out how to get to the Institut. He told me he would go with me to make sure I found it ok and not to worry about him. In the end, he also came with me to Metro to meet up with Nezha and then went on his merry way. Indeed, no worries, he asked the first person he came across for help and was on the road again.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Nezha is a member of JCI Casablanca with whom I had been in contact before arriving and who was helping me to coordinate my stay in Casa. She works in supply-chain management for Metro and has a great philosophy about work. If she no longer likes what she is doing, no longer has any passion for it, she quits and finds something that inspires her. Good for you Nezha; I think there would be a lot less depression in the world if everyone had your courage to face the fear of pain and the unknown that comes along with change.

Nezha and Cornelia
When Nezha got out of work, we headed over the the Scala Café by the port, not too far away from the Rex Café, made famous in the movie... be the first to name this movie and I’ll send you a post card. Cornelia joined us after she finished up work. Cornelia is originally from Switzerland but has been living and working for Novartis in different countries for several years now. Interestingly enough, I met her high school pen pal by sheer coincidence in a grouped Facebook message sent by a translator colleague of mine. Small world made smaller thanks to FB.

Optical illusion
After dinner, we went back to Cornelia’s apartment where I would be staying and had a drink on her “balcony of noise.” Now I know, every major city is noisy but Casa stands out among all others. Cornelia explained one reason why: the traffic lights are in front of the intersection and there are no small lights on the side of the traffic lights for the first line of cars. Basically, this means that you have to wait for the people two or three rows back to honk that the light has turned green and you can go! When you stop and listen attentively, you can hear an almost magical orchestra of honking throughout the entire city.

Nothing special about the training I did on Tuesday except that I was pleased to catch up with Magali, a colleague, client, and former trainee from France who came all the way to Morocco for the training (not really, she happened to be there and the timing was right). At the end of the day, I went to pay the €4 we owed for using the library and the person in charge said not too worry about it, it’s my lucky day. Indeed, my luck is on the up and up.

Casa to be continued... Coming up next, day trip to Marrakech!


  1. made famous in the movie..."Casablanca"!

    Do I get to receive an other postcard from you? ;-)


  2. j'adore la dernière photo au fait :-D


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