It's a Hoax!

Day by day, I'm beginning to realize things here aren't always what they seem...

Take for example a simple trip to the store. There's a "hanoot" on every corner: the corner store. In it you will find the exact same things regardless of neighborhood, city, or region of the country. It's all copy/paste, copy/paste, copy/paste with absolutely no variation. Everything inside is exactly the same products, same brands, same layout, everything. Nobody knows how to think of anything new or creative so they all just copy eachother. Sounds easy enough, right? It's all easy until you want to buy something. That's when it becomes tricky.

In the mood for some candy? No problem, there's plenty of candy available for purchase. When I was going to Rabat, I was really in the mood for something chocolate-y and strawberry. Lo and behold! I found some "Choco Fraise" candy which translates into...Chocolate Strawberry. How perfect is that?? HOW-EV-VERRRR...things aren't always what they seem. The so-called "Choco Fraise" in actuality contained not a trace of chocolate nor a hint of strawberry. When I tossed a few of those bad boys into my palm all I got was some "Garbage Lemon" flavored rock-hard nasty yuck-balls.

Gnarly little rocks.

Ok, so lesson learned. When buying candy, completely disregard what the label says because 9 outta 10 times, it has nothing to do with what's inside. It's more or less a grab bag of what you're going to get. Fine, I get it. What's something more simple? Fruit. It's found in nature and you can't really change it.  An apple is an apple and and orange is an orange. Or so I thought.  Further down the road (literally) on our trip to Rabat, we stopped at a rest area to get something to eat. After having a surprisingly good tajine, we decided to have a little fruit before hitting the road again. I waited while he went and bought some fruit. He comes back with a couple of limes for us. What?! Who the heck wants to suck on a lime? (Well... back in my day I'd definitely want to suck on a lime after talkin' to my old friend José, but that was the old me) An after-dinner dessert of sliced limes? What the?....

But of course, it's all a hoax. There were no limes underneath it all.

An orange dressed in lime's clothing? For Pete's sake...

Another example of how things get twisted around here is going to a restaurant. You want to get lied to? Go out to eat. The waiters here have no problem at all lying straight to your face. If you ask for something, you have to be extremely clear with what you want. This is made possible by speaking to them in their native language. WRONG. Arabic, French, English, it doesn't matter. They look you dead in the eyes and just lie anyway. Maybe it's easier for them.

One day my friend Cindy-Bindy and I were at a cafe in a little beach town. On the menu was a "Banana Split Brownie" consisting of (you guessed it) a brownie with a banana on top, vanilla ice cream, carmel sauce, chocolate sauce, and whip cream. Now, before we ordered that delicious little bomb of a dessert, we had to make sure they actually had it. (Side note: restaurants here are notorious for listing all kinds of delicious things on the menu that don't actually exist--nor have they ever. It's all a scam to get you into the place and once you've sat down and are comfortable, you're too tired to care to go to another place) So we very clearly asked him, "Do you have brownies?" He said, "I don't know. Let me check in the kitchen." He returned a few minutes later and said, "Yes, we have brownies." Cindy and I looked at eachother like we knew we were getting hosed and reluctantly said , "OK, we'll order 1 to share." The waiter returned a few minutes later with our dessert. Ummmmm...no. It consisted of 2 blah-flavored cookies with vanillah ice cream on top and a banana underneath. Uhh, say bruh--where's the brownie? The chocolate? The carmel? The whip cream? He said, "We're out of brownies." I literally have never wanted to punch a culture so hard before. HOW ARE YOU THAT STUPID? Cindy and I were just staring at eachother like, "For real? IS this happening again?" Yes, Cindy. Yes it is happening again. And it always will because people here just don't get it. Customer service does not exist and telling the truth about menu items isn't always something you can count on. We told him, "Sorry, but we arent' eating or paying for this. It is absolutely nothing like what it says on the menu. We even asked you if you had brownies and you lied to us and said 'yes.' So sorry, but no." Of course, he didn't understand what the problem was and looked at us like WE were stupid. The lack of common sense never ceases to amaze me. So, the brownie? Totally a hoax.

Say homey, I think you forgot a few things in the kitchen. If there even is a kitchen. 

After spending the afternoon in search of some ice cream to cool you off, maybe you’re better off just ordering something a little easier: Lemonade. It’s universal and no matter where you go, everyone knows what lemonade is. WRONG. That’s true unless you’re in Morocco, where nothing makes sense. When you go to a restaurant here, you will undoubtedly find Lemonade on the menu under the “Drinks” section. Go ahead, my friend. Order it. I dare you. Once again, it will be a grab bag of possibilities. You see, nobody here knows what lemonade actually is. They are under the false impression that Lemonade is Coca-Cola. No. Lemonade is Lemonade. Coca-Cola is Coca-Cola. They are neither the same nor even closely related. They’re not even friends. They’re so far apart in the beverage world that they don’t even know eachother’s names. I will now take a moment to provide a quick tutorial of what is what. Moroccans, please take note:

Water, Lemons, Sugar.

See? No lemonade in sight.

These are all just a few examples of the many falsifications that take place every day here in good ol' Rocco. If you ever want to visit, prepare yourself for a variety fo illusions. This is a very enchanting land and you will for sure be drawn to its allure. However, never forget that there's a pretty good chance that: 

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Jen said...

I love this blog! LOL Jaime I can just SEE you guys sitting @ that restaurant like, "REALLY??" hahaha WOW.... Awesome writing! xo