We left Morocco 4 hours ago after a 3 month tour and we’re having a minor culture shock, here in Tarifa. We enjoy Africa enormously but Europe is our home continent. Even so, there are downsides of being back in Europe and mostly they relate to what we miss about Morocco.
Downsides of being back in Europe
A baguette in Spain has just cost us €1. For the last 3 months in Morocco, we’d buy 10 baguettes of equal quality for the same price. Europe is expensive and for an overlander with limited income, this matters. A lot!
Hospitality of Moroccans
Every Moroccan we met, without exception, welcomed us to their country. They chatted to us, interested in where we were from and how long we planned to visit and said, “Welcome to Morocco. A thousand welcomes”. Not one European has ever welcomed us into Europe. Not one.
Ok so this may sound a little odd but it’s what I mean when I say I’m having a minor culture shock. In Morocco, you can expect the unexpected. At roundabouts, you may need to give way to traffic already on the roundabout, or you may have right of way. There is no consistency. You can expect traffic to be coming towards you on your side of the road, probably overloaded. These are just 2 examples and after 3 months, we’ve adapted our driving skills to suit. Having driven 8 km in Spain since our return a couple of hours ago, we have to expect the expected. That’s going to take a few more hours of driving yet.
It’s colder in Europe, even in its most southerly point. In summer time, this may be a blessing but in January, it’s not. We’ve lost not far off 10°C in 2 days. It’s still warmer than the UK by a long margin so maybe I should stop complaining? Or maybe I’ll stop complaining when I can turn the heating off in Mowgli.
Call to Prayer
I got used to hearing the call to prayer 5 times a day. Some of the muezzins who sing the call to prayer from the minarets are really very good; the sound is mesmerising as it carries across the landscape. It’s pretty quiet in Spain without it and I’m not sure how I’ll wake up in the morning without my early morning wake up call.
On The Plus Side
Although I am already missing Morocco, maybe I’ll be fine after a good night’s sleep. We’ve lost an hour and it’s already 10pm. Tomorrow, the next stage of our adventure begins and it all starts with a visit to the local supermarket in Tarifa for bacon, chorizo, gammon, a pork-crackling joint and red wine. Things are looking up already. I do love Europe.