For this whole story to make sense, I think it is important to mention that, during a trip in South Africa about eight months before, my friend was robbed next to me. It happened in the middle of the day, in a street full of people, the police passing by and nobody helped. […]
The impression I had been living under, that if there are people around you, if you are in a central area in the city, and most importantly if the police are around, you should be safe, was dust in the wind. After this incident, I had nothing I could count on. […] And I had decided to go to Morocco alone …
(from First Touch)
The next day arrived.
It was time for me to go to take out money in order to pay for my accommodation and to buy some food. I only had one bottle of water left. I was reluctant to go out because my insecurity relating to my safety and my ability to manage alone were getting stronger, so I waited a little bit, procrastinated some more, and finally around noon I went down and asked for directions to the closest ATM. I was given only vague information so I looked at my map, and went out confused and scared.
I became very anxious, even more than before; I was memorizing all the little bricks on the walls to know how to return to my accommodation.
I was trying to attract as little attention as possible. I was keeping my eyes down, I was ignoring the men looking at me, or asking me very insistently to buy their products. I was scared of everything around me. Every person represented a possible attack. I didn’t know if I could trust these people. I didn’t know how they treated each other within their own communities and how they would act towards me, a stranger. Because of my emotional insecurity, I was preparing myself mentally for the worst case scenarios.
In my head there was dead silence. It was quiet because I was paralyzed by everything that was happening around me. Now don’t get me wrong, I have been in very similar environments, in situations much more dangerous than this, and much stranger than this. And it was all before I knew how many worlds planet Earth is sheltering.
I was looking at everybody passing by me very carefully. At one point, there was a man walking towards me, like tens of others. He was looking in my direction and all of a sudden he opened his arms and started shouting something. My heart started beating at the speed of light, my feet were as soft as cotton and my hands cold and shaky like leaves in the winter. In the next moment, I saw that he was talking to someone further behind me. I had nothing to worry about.
After a short while, I gave up and went back to the hostel.
I had a friend who was going to come to Marrakesh the next day. I figured I would just skip eating that day, even though my stomach was growling, I had some water left, so I knew I would survive with no problems. I left it all in the hands of tomorrow when I had to go out and meet my friend – when I no longer had a choice. Tomorrow was also the day when I had decided to withdraw some money, to eat and behave normally.
It is very important to understand that what I am writing about is not the reality of Morocco. The reality of Morocco is what you will experience when you go there. I felt as I did because I was heavily burdened with different feelings that I didn’t process in a healthy way. I ask you to read my stories as a self-discovery journey, not as a travel log for Morocco with do’s and don’t’s.