Category Archives: Tradition
Remember Dancing Matt? The guy who taped himself dancing around in different countries from his travels, posted the video online, and then became an instant viral sensation?
Let me refresh your memory…
7 years later and he is still dancing, traveling, and living life to the fullest. He just posted his most recent “Where the hell is Matt” video.
I dare you not to smile/dance along/love the world you live in while watching this.
We are closing in on the end of day 4 of our 15 day trip through the Best of Morocco and I am already amazed and smitten with this country and it’s people. Equally, I am impressed by the quality of learning and experiences Intrepid offers on it’s tours. I cannot imagine having a 1/100th of the experience I have had so far if I planned this trip on my own.
Here are the top 5 lessons/facts I have taken away from my experience so far (not in any particular order):
1) Moroccan history and culture is ingrained with respect for humanity and tolerance for all religions. While the country is 98% Muslim, over a thousand years of their history indicates they have always welcomed, protected, and included Judaism, Christianity and Muslim faiths in their country without war or persecution. The rest of the world could learn a lot from this country.
2) Everyone should follow the rule of the Moroccan spice of life. Indulge in 15 minutes of crazy everyday. This includes laughter, dance, celebration, etc. If you do this it will keep you happy, healthy, and wealthy.
3) Camel meat is delicious. No joke. Moroccan food in general is pretty amazing. I have indulged in olives, tangine, couscous, lentils, moroccan whiskey (aka moroccan mint tea), harira soup….
4) Moroccan man love melts my heart. I love the affection that is shown between male friends here. From the way they great each other with hugs and kisses to the dance moves they share when moved by their favorite traditional tunes.
5) Pigeon poop is the key to soft and colorful leather. Gross, but kind of fascinating.
One of my favorite New Years memories was when I went to Barcelona, Spain for a week with 3 of my good friends. Our initial plans of partying like rock stars in the city for New Years Eve went bust when we realized our ‘hostel’ was about an hour train ride outside of the city and the train stopped running early in the evening. Oops. We were stuck.
Thankfully we were able to find a grocery store still open and picked up everything we needed for a fun night in: food, wine, a radio so we could hear the countdown to the new year, and grapes. Yes, grapes. We found out that the Spanish have a tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight to bring good luck for the new year.
So, fast forward to 11:59pm. We are all sitting around the table huddled over the radio waiting for it to start counting down in Spanish. We didn’t really know what we were doing so when we heard something that sounded like a countdown we all started shoving grapes into our mouths.
However, almost as quickly as we shoved the grapes in our mouths, we all started spitting them out!
These were not the grapes we were used to at home, these were SEEDED grapes. When you are not used to crunchy bits in your grapes, it is rather shocking to bite down on them. Needless to say it was one of the funniest moments of my life. Our attempt of joining in on local tradition totally failed, but had a blast trying.
On that note, I wish you all a happy seedless 2011! Until next year (aka tomorrow).