Wild Kids

Back in the time when I landed in Barcelona, I was only working and study so that means: low budget.

Me and my partner were exploring the couchsurfing world, hosting as many people as we could in our flat in the city center with we never dared to surf in any couch yet, but that was going to change.

Gab got flight tickets to Fes, Morocco for my birthday for 6 days. The problem we faced was: we had no spare money to spend in the city (not so brilliant) Gabriel has an very chill attitude that it totally freaks me out, “Don’t worry, we will see, it’s just going to be more excited” he said with a calm voice.

– “Are you kidding me? We have no place to stay, no food and it’s going to be a disaster!”

– “Just chill, I’m going to take care of where we staying, we just going on couchsurfing, we already had good experiences, it’s going to be fine.”

For some reason I forgot about the rest of the details.I trusted him I was going with the flow. Surrender to the Universe.

Homeless on the plane.

-”Hey everything under control?” — I asked while we were on our way to Morocco on the plane.

– “Yes, I sent two requests in couchsurfing, cause basically there were not many people and one said yes”

– “So, we have a place to stay?”

– “Technically, yes.’

– “Technically?!!!!” — All the plane could hear the exclamation tone.

– “Well he hasn’t checked the message for a week, but he said he will pick us up in the airport”

– “Do we have his address?” — I asked.

– “Nope”

– “Right… Any details about this guy?”

– “He is a funny guy, he’s into weightlifting”

He showed me a pic, we laugh out of loud. Indeed, he had a funny look, but it didn’t stop me to from freaking out.

Finally we landed. We changed ALL our money, exited the airport and sit under the sun for over 40min without a plan.

It’s good to mention that we only took €100. Yep… For two people in Morocco, with no hotel booked for 6 days.

“Do you… Eh, have his phone number? By any chance? maybe we can call him, even for some tips, you know.” — I asked him while the intense sun was burning my skin.

-“Oh yes! I will try to reach him.”

Gab was on the phone for 10min.

-“He said he can pick us up in an hour.”

-“Alright”

We waited outside for another hour. We had nothing to do anyways. It was hot, super hot, sunny with no clouds and we were on holidays.

Said came on a taxi. I think we just have the tourist look cause he came directly to us. Here is where photography does the exact job of documenting, he look just like in the picture on his profile.

We jumped into the car and drove to the city center.

I wasn’t aware of the conversation Gab and Said had so I asked him if it was possible for him to be our host and he said yes, just with one condition: Do NOT buy anything in the city without me. We heard that sentence sooo many times during our time with him.

Our home for 6 days.

He lived in the Medina, just in the city center. On the last floor of a 4 story building. The apartment had a living room, a tiny kitchen, an even tinier bathroom. Two rooms one for his mom, Tata, one for him that it was under construction. You could go out to the terrace and have a wide view of the Medina.

I asked Gab, where are we going to sleep? There are no rooms. He directly passed the question to Said.

He said; well in this room, pointing out the living room.

I’m not a fancy person, I couldn’t see clear the sleeping situation in my head or in real life

I will give the the living room tops 10m2, the only furniture inside it was 4 couches, each one fastened to the wall and a tea table. They had two function, in the morning they serve as normal couches you hang out there, sit on them to have food, during the night they were our beds, Ja! That my friend I called in the moment scandinavian design.

The holy hole

Let’s move into the kitchen, you couldn’t fit more than two people at the same time, the kitchen was also the hallway to the bathroom, if we can called like that. The bathroom was a different universe, step in, bring your look to the floor, you will find a hole, better know as latrine, now look up, directly in front of you, the shower. The range motion that it was allowed in that space was a squat.

You don’t need more, here I learned the power of squads, the constant training of your pelvic floor cause you need so much control when you pee, that it wasn’t a time where I feel relaxed when I had to go to the bathroom.

Coffee with guys.

Muslims , yeah, all the cliches who play into this tag. I had a very different point of view in this topic thanks to this situation.

It was half way though, Said took us with his friend to have, yes, you got it, tea.

No one from his friends spoke english, they were like 7 guys with us, Said english wasn’t that good either, Gab and I we speak in spanish all the time. Said was our official translator. So we sat there, have tea and I was talking with Gab and Said, then I noticed something (yeap after 4day of trip) that Said didn’t talk to me directly, he first mention something to Gab and then to me.

The table it was just the an amplify situation. It was very weird cause I needed a filter, my dude, my man, Gab was my filter. As a typical Latina that I am I got nuts in the second I realized I started yelling. Like: OMG Gabriel, did you noticed? WTF!

Gab was: eeeh yes, chill, it took you 4 days Yak…

-Mmmm true

Well it’s annoying to me to cause I have to pay attention all the time and I can’t delegate conversations to you, and you can talk more than I can said Gabriel.

At this moment, after I freak out, instead of rise the feminist part of me I analysed the situation, I was in a very privileged space, with a local, playing the in between, where you don’t belong to the culture and have a bit more of liberties and border that I was able to cross only if play well.

First I was the only woman in the table, I have no idea what they were talking about, my arabic knowledged was and still is non existent. The dynamic was this; They talked 10min in arabic, Said came back to us with one sentence, Gabriel said something back, they laugh about us then I said something back, Said bring it on the table, they laugh again, game over. We started all over again.

That night was confusing, I was trying to not be caught by what society thinks about how women are treated in muslims culture, I was trying to be open to the experience, be there, put everything together at the end of the adventure.

Lost, for real.

I consider myself very good at directions, reading maps and have the feeling that I know where I’m going and how to get there. Usually is very natural.

Caracas, my home town, it’s a big city, the structure is very random, the streets don’t follow a particular logic or order, also when I moved to Barcelona I was living in the center of the city, narrow streets that with the time you learn how to navigate through it by heart, with time, good memory and patience you get to know every single corner.

On our trips we usually have a small map, we got one for Fes too, I painted a little heart where our house was.

Fes is a Medieval city, thanx to Barcelona I was familiar with that part of the story, but the Medina has around 9000 streets and that my friend it’s impressive.

There wasn’t a single day where I had no idea where we were, I also had no idea how to go back home. Our map has the names in French, very useless when every single street is writing with arabic characters, forget about google maps, back in the time the top tech was a Blackberry, your sense of orientation was your only hope. You are trap in a labyrinth with no point of reference, I never experienced the feeling of being lost every day, not only make you cucu makes your body very anxious, maybe was the 24/7 drinking tea effect.

I can fucking speak fluent Arabic.

No I can not. I took the time to be Gabriel translator, yes any time that I thought I understood something I came out with not only a perfect sentence, I made out a 5min story out of it.

I don’t speak french either and in such a tiny city like Fes you will not find many people who you can talk much. Communication challenge and body language.

Tata

I reckon isn’t her name, everyone called like that, Tata. She is Said mom. A super old and petite woman with a strict schedule, every day she woke up very early, cooked, went for groceries, tight the house, made dinner, and go to bed very early .

We were going back to the house, she was on her way back, we stumble with her on the street. I yelled her name at loud, happy to see her. We had the following conversation:

Tata!

She said stuff in arabic.

I hugged her, I’m so happy to see you.

She said stuff in arabic.

Gabriel! Look! Tata!

-I can see said Gabriel with no emotion in his voice.

She said stuff in arabic with some hands signs

End.

Gabriel, Tata is going to the market.

-How do you know?

She said so.

-I don’t think so.

She also said that Said is waiting for us at home.

-Really? What else?

Well that she was a hurry and that was why she couldn’t stay longer and Said is watching TV. That’s it.

-Right…

He wasn’t waiting for us, or watching TV, he was working, later on Gab asked him what Tata was talking about.

Who knows, he said, sometimes she just say things and usually she doesn’t remember much of her conversations.

Thank you, I know, my language superpowers are very tune with the universe.

Fight with the waitress.

Time to pay my friend, Said asked for the bill after our two and a half hours tea with the dudes. You don’t need to be a genius to know when people are fighting, our host had a hit up conversation after he saw the bill.

They overcharge us, we looked, we were tourist and the fact we were minority in a table of 8 locals didn’t stop them to charge extra, like, tourist taxes, there is not such a thing like that but, you get the idea.

We of course offer to pay for it, it wasn’t a crazy amount of money as we thought based on Said reaction. It was a scene, I particularly enjoyed it, we don’t have much of those in Berlin. All his friend were trying to calm him down, he made a deal with the owner of the cafe, at this point the entire town was around us waiting for the big show, they were ready for a flight.

Sundlety, the calm came. They were laughing again, hugging each other. We leave the place without paying.

Said got angry because they want to give us tourist prices, he said to us that it wasn’t fair because they make money out of us and we shouldn’t be treating different than the locals.

We agreed also we were very surprised by his open minded.

He said, you are my friends, we are equal in this city.

Running through Fes el-Bali.

Fez was founded in the 8th century, the old town that is also the center of the city La Medina or Fes el-Bali

The main attraction in Fez is the leather tanning, the oldest and largest tanneries on the world with no less than a thousand years old. We trying to find it for 3 days by yourself walking through the city, asking everyone, many of the locals offered to take us, their job is hunt for touring, guide them there. How hard it could be find the main attraction of the city with a map?

Very hard, let me tell you, I will dare to say that isn’t a way to find this place, good to mention that when we were there google maps and GPS wasn’t running the way it does now. On the fourth day after our big failure we decided to take the guide.

The tanneries are located a backyard surrounded by many buildings in the middle of the city, there no way to see it from the street and even tho is super smelly, the smell will not help you to find the target.

The race begins, we agreed to go there with a guy, you can find a lot of them when you are relative close to the tanneries. The moment we said yes, he start running, we ran around the city, trying not to lose him, he was yelling at us, faster! faster! and let me tell you the center of Fes isn’t a place for a race, it’s a perfect race with obstacle, avoid the people, the dunkins, the tourist that also running to the same place and after 10min we finally arrived.

I couldn’t understand if all the running was necessary, I didn’t ask but the only reason I found after all this years is they want to take the tourists there they make you run so you don’t get a chance to get to know the way to the tanneries cause is their own way to make some money, that’s why all the signal to the tanning only take you to the guides not to the actual place. I found the running very magical.

Pants on 40 degrees

After breakfast I got ready to go, I wear one top and a skirt. Said went out very early in the morning, it was going to be our first day without him. On our way out he was coming back to the house and he scanned me from the top of my head to my toe, saying:

Today isn’t so hot.

I took my hand out of the window to checked out the temperature.

-eeeh It’s super hot Said.

It’s super fresh day.

-40 degrees is far away from being fresh.

Yesterday you were wearing a nice pants, where are they?

– The are black, I’m going to die if I’m going out with them.

But you look very pretty, those pants fits you, maybe you have other pants, why if you wear those. Did you bring more pants?

– I can wear my shorts…

Show me

– No, no, your other pair of pants are better.

He took Gabriel out for 4min talk and they went back.

I really wanna go Gab, I said in spanish

-We are in Morocco, going out with a skirt or shorts isn’t an option.

Oooh that was about the 15min talk about pretty black pants?

-Yeah, change the skirt or we are not going to be able to leave the house.

It’s 40 degrees Gabriel… and you are wearing shorts, where are your black pants?

-Ha! Not funny.

I putted on my black pants, packeted my skirt in my bag and went out, Said was happy and as soon as I could I changed my clothes again while we were out.

The reason I did it was pure respect, Said opened the doors of his house to us, I was the visitor and he tried to make me change my mind in a very chill way, he wasn’t disrespectful to me. I didn’t want to be disrespectful to him or his family, even though we don’t share the same culture and the same point of view in many aspects.

Fake kidnap.

We agreed to go to a secret place with Said. You are really going to love it, he said.

We jumped into his car a left Fes, after 30min ride I asked Gabriel if Said mention anything about our final destination. No a word, Gab said.

Gabriel, Said is going to sell us, he is taking us to outside of the city and he is going to sell us.

-You’re nuts

Seriously, look around.

At this point we were in an industrial part outside Fes. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

Said, where are we going? Gab asked him

-Surprise!

Cool but what is the place about?

I prefer we wait till we are there.

Ja! I told you, we’ve been kidnapped! I said to Gab in spanish.

Gab started to look very worry about us in the car, he tried not to… but with a total paranoid girl next to him, was hard for him to hide it.

After more than 45min we parked the car in front of a huge industrial nave.

We have to walk a bit, today there is a lot of people, said Said to us.

Ja! See? People… they are the buyer’s, maybe they going to kill us and sell our organs, they will get more money selling us by part.

Gab just rolled his eyes, keep walking Yak.

Was a short walk under the intense sun of Africa, we finally arrived to a place full of white tents, there were no single Tourist around, it was a bit intimidating how they couldn’t stop staring at us. Under the white tents you could find everything you want, from food, clothes to tea pots, it was a market, a regular one, the special character about it was the place where people go shopping once a week, just local people.

From the market you could see part of the city.

I want to show you where I get the food, also is better if you are with me so you can directly choose what you would like to eat.

Said was super sweet all the time he just wanted to show us the city, the things he does in his daily life, I was very happy that we were checking out veggies and fruits and the hole kidnap story was just in my head.

A dead grandpa.

For an unknow reason we wanted to visit the cemetery de Bab Sigma, from the outside of the Medina it looked very impressive. We walked through the door, steeped in an the next second it was a guy talking to us. “You can’t get in” said in english, I turned around and started walking in the opposite direction. On my way out I heard Gab talking with the guy again. He made us wait, a second men came back, he was able to speak more fluent english, “You can’t get in”

But my grand grand grandpa is in here.

-Really? Answered the second men.

Yes. I came all the way from Venezuela to visit his grave.

At this point I wasn’t reacting at all, just a huge wtf around my head. I looked at Gabriel. I looked at the guy. I looked at the second guy.

-What is the name of your grand grand grandpa?

Mohamed burado

-What?

Mohamed buredod

Gabriel was babbling the last name, every time he repeated it sound very different from the time before.

-There is no one with that name here.

But, but, I came from so far away, my dad told me he was here.

LIAR! I was yelling in my head, with a wide mouth open. I was in shock.

You have 10min, I will follow you.

I still was playing in my mind the situation, we were there for 10min with second men. Time is over, you must go.

Salam alaikum.

Alaikum salam.

We went out.

What was all of that? I asked Gabriel.

-Dunno

Wow, your grand grand grandpa, eh?

-Yeap

You are not only a terrible liar you also are a terrible actor.

Fighting in arabic with the taxi driver.

After our big lie in the cemetery we took a cap to Bab Boujeloud known as the blue gate. The taxi driver was very sweet, it was the typical procedure, jump in, drive around the city, get to your destination and pay. Simple.

We paid but he gave us the wrong change, that’s what I thought.

Conversation in Spanish start:

Gab, he totally gave us the wrong change

-No, no it was ok.

Look how many dirhams he gave us

-No Idea, let’s go

This is the tourist thing all over again, he wanna charge us more. Unbelievable!

-I think there is some money missing, said Gab to the taxi driver.

He show us the taximeter while he was denying with the head. He repeat the action all over, we haven’t gone out of the car.

I jumped into the conversation and repeat the same sentence, there is some money missing in the change.

He got nuts, start yelling at us in arabic. I got nuts and yell back in spanish, at this point Gab is out of the car. The taxi driver give me back some money. I get out of the car.

10min later, Gab said “Creo que jodimos al taxista” (I think with screw the taxidriver)

– What!

Yes, dude, he was right, I don’t know why I always listen to you, you are so bad with numbers.

-I feel so bad, probably was like 20 cents for us. Let’s try to find him, he was too nice to us.

How are we going to find him? Eh?

-Dunno, we can ask Said.

No way. Gabriel cutted off any crazy thoughts I was cooking in my mind.

Tattoo talks with a security guard at the University.

It’s just a pleasure walk around Fes , even tho you spend the day trying to find things, sometimes things find you. We were trying to find our way back home, the usual, we trip over a beautiful building, with an amazing garden, big windows where you can see traditional dresses, the instruments to make rugs and very elaborate saddles.

We just went in, a security guy came to us, shaking his head with the no signal, here we go again… This time we just turn around walking through the exit without any made up story.

Wait, wait! We heard from the back of the garden a men running toward us.

We turned around. A second security guy approached us. I thought we were in trouble again.

What are you looking for?

-Nothing, we were just walking I thought it was a nice place to check out. Can you tell us about the place?

Tourist can’t go in.

-No problem.

Nice tattoos. Long pause, and the henna, it’s a very good work.

I didn’t have as many tattoos back in the the time, and sometimes is too much distraction for the people. And a bit annoying when you wanna make a point or have a talk.

-Thank you.

In our culture isn’t allowed. I like them a lot, I hope one day I can have one, he said.

I had a friend, he had one tattoo, the entire back. No one knew about it, till the day he died, his family didn’t make the traditional funeral ritual for him.

-What about the ladies in the Mellah? The old ladies. They have tattooed her entire face.

Oh yes, they are very old and Jewish. The young ones are not allowed anymore.

He talked to us for an hour, he was doing philosophy at the University, had the security job as a part time, love heavy metal, was a very sweet guy. He took the time to give us some insight about the place we were in. Also he give us a short tour, no pictures he said, I don’t wanna get in trouble.

The Moroccan government was putting some effort on preserve the traditions of the country, providing a place where you can learn and be certified, they want to encourage young people to study and keep the hand made alive, for them it was one of the best gift they can offer to others. You can learn how to make rugs, saddles, traditional dresses, working with leather, embroider and so on. He also tell us that you can apply to the Uni, you just need to speak french.

We exchanged Facebook, he give us his phone number and suddenly we just made another friend.

Dealing with the gang of leather.

After we finally visited the tanneries, on our way out, we had a small talk with a random guy, his english was one of the best in town, at least from our experiences before.

-Why you didn’t buy anything? He asked us

Well, we are students with basically no budget, we just came to get to know the culture and just be an a different place.

-Where are you coming from?

Venezuela but now we are living in Spain.

-No money then?

Noup

-I make the deals between big brands and the leather sellers in Fes. You know, those brands that ask for a lot of money, all that leather come from Fes. Chanel, Dior those people.

I thought he was fooling us, so we just keep the conversation running. We will never know, maybe was true after all.

Did you like anything? He asked us.

-Yes, but again, not this time.

Well I can give you a better price.

-No, thanx but was really to meet you.

We kept walking. Two days later, we had to meet Said in the square, we told him that we might be late. We came from our hang out with the security guy at the university, we were very close to our meeting point with Said. Suddenly we heard very loudly, VENEZUELA!

Immediately we starting to check out between the crowd.

-What was thaaat? Looking at Gabriel with big eyes. We don’t know anyone here, and Said knows our name.

VENEZUELA! Come here!

Both were astonished.

Finally, a guy was waving his arm in a terrace.

The leather dealer! We sat with him, to have tea. I was very impressed that he reminded us. We know that tea/coffee it was an 3 hours activity so we said someone was waiting for us, no reaction back.

-I know you liked something, what did you want to buy? He asked us.

Well a pair of boots, I didn’t know that prices were in Euros. I said.

-How much they told you?

260

-Which one?

Brown, with some sort of wool

-Give me 160, I will bring them now.

I saw Gab with a puppy face, we had no money. It was a very good deal.

-Alright, 60€

I looked Gabriel again with the puppy face, this time almost crying.

Men, we would love to negotiate with you but you know, without money negotiations are not possible, said Gab.

-You are right, so let’s keep drinking tea.

It’s amazing how times goes by, how much you can enjoy by being absorbed in a new dynamic, just drinking tea, appreciating the people who are around you.

Said was in the corner, attentive, looking for us.

This time was me, yelling his name, Said! Come come! He sat in our table, we introduce our new friend to him, they exchanged some words, laugh at us of course, the leather dealer said, you two, only a couple of days in the city and already knew everyone.

It just felt like it we knew everybody, but the truth is they are open people, happy to get to know others, to make contact, we never feel unsafe, except for the fake kidnap situation. They are warm and lovely people. We made new friends and some of them made new friends, like Said and the dealer.

4h henna.

I wanted to get Henna, asked Said for a place to go, he said I was crazy, the best Henna was made by some of his friends (female ones).

Well I don’t wanna make your friends work, I replied.

I have a very good friend (After the 5th day we kinda knew it was his unofficial Girlfriend) who would love to do it.

Come with me to the market, we will get what we need for the henna.

We stopped in the species stand and Said got enough Henna for everyone in the family. Said was my translator this time, his friend wasn’t able to speak to me in English.

I said I would like to have my hands done, and the session started. In the middle of the living room, with the TV on, finally we got Tata engaged with our activity. Tata and the girl were talking and giggling. First the cooked the Henna, they need to mixed with water.

It has to be warm, Said said, this will make it stay longer.

The girl took my hand and started drawing the design, free hand, it was so amazing, I felt like I was getting a tattoo, without the pain part.

Gaby and Said left the room, I stay with Tata and the girl, no talking but I could feel the good vibes. She did my second Hand, suddenly start painting on my palms. After my palms she went over my wrist and at that point I was so sleepy, we started at 9pm, I couldn’t told her to stop, she was very into it

Finally around 1am Said came in, well next session tomorrow, he said.

She find a plastic bag and put my hands in it. You need to sleep with this, tomorrow it will be ready. I sleep with those plastic bags on my hands, with no energy or willing for my next session. That Henna was on my hands for over a month, and it was the best souvenir I could ever had.

Tee 24/7 & milk in a bag.

No, England isn’t the land of tea. Morocco is.

The schedule of the day was;

Wake up around 6am thanks to the Quan our first tee of the day. I called the pre-breakfast tea.

Breakfast: Tea or coffee with some olive and bread

After breakfast tea

Hang out tea — this tea it happen when you are getting ready to go out

Outside tea — You hang out with locals and yes, you have tea again

Pre-lunch

Lunch — What is a lunch without it?

After-Lunch tea

TEE TIME — Serious amount of tea.

Pre-dinner

Dinner

After dinner

Before going to bed Tea — Tea is magical, it will help you to fall asleep.

I was feeling very funny the second day, it wasn’t the food at all it was the overdose of fresh mint tee. The moment that your cup is getting empty they poor more, and more, and a bit more till you die. At the end of the second day I learned that you should drink less than a half, so it always look full, you just pretend that you’re drinking… so you can easily deal with tee 24/7

They also drink coffee, in the morning. I mentioned that I liked my coffee with a bit of milk but the first day they didn’t have it so Said next morning woke up earlier and left the house to get milk. I imagined him coming back with, well a bottle, he came back with a half a liter of milk, on a plastic bag. His smile was so big and touching, he looked at me and said: I got you milk, for your coffee, you can’t start the day without coffee. He was showing me the bag, handed it to me it was warm, it was so fresh that it was warm. It was so touching I knew by the way of living that fresh milk wasn’t for them a daily product, he made an effort to make me feel good, welcome during the entire trip, the milk, well that was the cherry on the top.

New family.

One night we went to Said’s brother’s house, he was very excited to introduce us to his family, we went for tea.

His house was very lovely, immediately I ended it up in a room with all the women. I just smiled, they were talking to me, laughing and asking me things in arabic, no answer from my side just a smile. They offer me tea, what a surprise and cookies.

We were watching TV together, finally the guys came back, sit with us and did the same we were doing, talking, laughing at us.

They looked very happy, we were happy to meet them too, even tho of cultural differences and the lack of a common language, we felt the love in the room.

A room full of strangers make me feel like home, it was very touching.

They didn’t want us to go, just before we left they make us came in again, gave me a bag with sort of fabric, I took the fabric out the bag, It was a carpet, very gold and shiny, not so big and light.

Said brother said to us: My family want to give you this, a praying carpet from la Meca. You have a family in Fez now, you will always be welcome.

Holly shit! I saw Gab and almost cried, ran into his wife’s arm, thank you so much, I said and here, I did cry.

For them, there is absolutely nothing on earth more sacred than the Meca, it was just breathtaking.

We bought something without Said.

I spend 30% of our budget on a carpet, should I said more? It was pretty, our cat enjoyed so much, also pee on it. And Gabriel reminded me about this the rest of the trip, the rest of my days.

I never told Said about it.

Singing the Quran.

There are speakers all over the city, you wake up with the reciting of the Quan and going to bed with the same sound. It was very melodic, it announced the praying time.

Very enchanted, so beautiful to hear from different corners of the city, the sound of many voices reciting something sacred, the energy and the vibe it’s just fascinating.

Until the second day, the singing with the combination of the overdose with tea and the extreme heat, made me dizzy.

It works, it totally works, by the end of our second day I was singing it, well more the melodic, a constant hum. The same feeling when you are watching the Lion King and ended up with Nants ingonyama bagithi baba… Sithi uhm ingonyama. Exactly like that, of course without the correct pronunciation cause we have no idea about Zula.

My main victim, Gabriel, who not only had to deal with the original singing, also with my non stop humming.

It took me a couple of days after we came back to my brain recovering from that.

Best Harira ever.

One part of the Medina is full of people selling food on the street, Europeans are bit obsessed with vaccines and eating in safety places during their trip to “exotic” places.

In Venezuela we also have food in the street, in the highways, at the beach, every where, there is no much regulation happening in that sector.

So we are very use to it, however in Fes the street are a bit more wild, in a different way, there are many cats hanging around the food stands but also many people, walking through the city with dunkies. Mandly the people you will find there are locals.

I have to admit, I saw it and immediately said to Gab; there is no way we are eating here.

But life has so much to teach us… one of the day we went out with Said to eat, he told us he is going to take us to the best Harira in town.

Uuuuh so excited!

His brother cooked the Harira and sell it in a place, very happy we got ready. We went out of the building, walked a few steps, stopped in front of one of the stands while Said was having a conversation with people. Then he said, here we are!

I couldn’t fucking believe it!, everyone around smile at us, we were really an attraction for them. The guy behind the stand puted the Harira in front of us. It was Said’s brother.

Cats were around us, all the looks were on us, we were standing next to each other, looking the other tourist staring at us. Big time.

You first Gab.

-You are such a chicken, he said, with a smile in his face.

It’s good, eat it.

-But, if I get sick?

No worries, trust… just eat it.

I had no other option, I ate it, one, two, three Hariras, It was the best soup I ever had.

Thanks to Said we got a flat rate every time we want to eat there we just have to stop in front of the stand, not much to say, and get our soup of the day.

The day we went to visit Said brother to his house, he told us that his job was making the soup, every night we made two big casserole, one for stand in the street and another one for restaurant for the tourist, he said.

Cous Cous, wild cats room mates and dead hen heads.

Said want to prepare for us a special dinner, it wasn’t necessary, but he insisted. Tata made a huge Cous cous, it was an extraordinary occasion for them.

Said bought hen, they were alive, we were lucky to not see them be killed by Tata. Their heads were the new snack/toy of the cats, they were playing around the house with it, that is how we got to know that Tata killed them for us and they were alive the day before yesterday.

It was our last night, we sat around the table, had fresh tea, said thank you for such amazing food, for treating us like family, for take the time to be with us. We ate together, language wasn’t an obstacle, we communicate with respect, we care about each other, we cut off our differences, we were just there, and it just felt like home.

There is no a female perspective in here, there is a understanding on the women in other cultures, there was a clear contrast between genders, meanly because we grow up and exist in our culture, full of religion, rituals and perspective. During this trip I learned that people are full of love and if you want to understand them you need to be inside, be open, cut your prejudices, be curious and give love back.

I came back with a new perspective, with a new family, I came back with an open mind