Morocco Travel Stories, Page 2


Hello, good fun, someone is making this bathhouse idea clear or explaining a Hammam to me, so this reader explains...

hi Andy,

been reading your site for a week or so... i was the one that suggested

you give the hammam a try! by the way, you are right, arabic words can

be written many ways in our letters - i probably spell some words

differently every time i type

you asked what a hammam is like inside... there are many rooms, some

hotter than others. some are for chilling out in, others for washing.

you usualy get given a couple of buckets on the way in, so that you can

fill up with water from the source, which might be a tap or a bath

looking thing which constantly fills up with fresh water. they don't all

sell soap, so you take your own stuff - i usually go buy some of the

natural soap you can buy from stores selling spices & stuff. they do

usually sell a little mitt thing for giving yourself a good scrub - well

they do in the girls hammams anyway. the massaage is optional. mostly

people give themselves a good rub down with soap and the mitten thing

after the steam has started to make you sweat out all the grime. it

tends to be a fairly leisurely process, with chatting or not depending on

your mood. you keep your pants on retty much all the way through, so

take a dry pair! there's an area for getting dressed again so you!

r clean clothes don't get damp. i know the girl's ones are likely to

be different, so i won't go on. look for 'hommes' on the sign

got a possible contender for your travel sites list...

the guy who puts it together often contributes on your beloved

lonely planet thorntree! he's one of the ones that only answers with real

information though. he knows morocco plenty but has pulled together

other useful stuff on africa - it's a new site so a lot of it is work in

progress. he might also have answers to some of your visa questions

anyway enjoy morocco some more... not sure about the agadir plan -

it's a bit like the benidorm of morocco, but i guess it's still an



I need to go, so far I have not seen a entrance that says Hommes, but I can be exceedingly lazy when not high on my list. Strange though cleaning the body is not obvious.

Wonder why they think in terms of competition or contender?

I think she means to put into my directory.


The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

Quote from the movie



I cut and paste from text notepad

I open on a french computer.

I copy from the Bloc Notes

Paste into Edit HTML of

I received the letter in my box.

All the Quotation Marks look like this

Hope this shows



Thursday December 2, 20004 8:02 AM

I am still confused on the day and date, having trouble being sure.

From yesterday to today, strange things have happened in Marrakech, Morocco and two French people in the internet agree. This is a strange country, I realized daily that this is truly a separate culture than Europe, but that was probably just and insult to the Europeans… oops, sorry.

Of course, it is different, as all countries are unique, that is why they are countries. Except for Canada.


I was on a late night trip to the internet café in my quest to find a cheap plane ticket from Europe to Asia as I am having misgiving about trying to make a trip across Northern Africa. I cannot figure out if all the Visas are possible and how long it will take, so until that is decided I need to take a break and do other trips.

I did make a little progress in my project on how to travel around the world cheaply by plane page. I think that maybe Germany is the center of Europe for Airplane trips, and not Amsterdam, in fact I am sure that Amsterdam is a terrible place to fly in and out of, EXCEPT with a round-trip ticket. England is maybe cheap coming from the USA, and I cannot find out how to leave England and go to the USA cheaply.

However, my find is this page:

NOTE: Before you click on it, LOOK for the Engl or word that says how to search in English, I was searching in German for about 15 minutes before I found the link. Therefore, they do have an English search page.

Ok, the strange part about the Casablanca girl… I was strolling back to the Hotel last night and a girl passed my in one of the Djebellas, I am sure I spelled it wrong, but one of them long hooded Caspers the Ghost outfits and she smiled at me and said hello, I thought it was Jennifer the Canadian girl hiding under the wrap, but when I stopped to talk to her, the girl started talking to me like she knew me, I was confused so went along. I realized soon that I had no idea who she was, and the more I looked at her, I could not be sure where she was from. She looked Moroccan in an Israeli sort of way, but who can be sure. Well I talked with her, started on the normal Interview, she said though very quickly.

“I go to Agadir, come with me.”

I asked,

“Where are you from?”

She said,

“Casablanca, but I live in Agadir.”

(A beach city south of here and I am thinking of going soon.)

She is speaking too good of English for Morocco and is way up the ladder of English Morocco speakers, so I am in either awe or high suspicion as to where she is from and what she is up too. I am thinking she is a prostitute, but prostitutes do not ask you to go other cities.

She said,

“You can come and stay at my house, and come back to Marrakech in the morning, come on.”

A command and very forceful, like a hooker, but not like a Moroccan girl, I am very confuse, she is not black, she is the brown color, and I only say this because my gut feeling is the former slaves or blackish or more blackish people are culturally a little more straight forward and less on the cower side of life, so she is acting very blunt for a Morocco girl. Now the Morocco boys act just like this, in your face all the time, but the Morocco girls are always looking at the floor, except in my guess world the blacker ones. Hard to separate cultures here, and I am way off the politically accepted scale of subject that are acceptable to discuss, but then again I am trying understand why this beautiful girl ask me to go home with her.

Well, I heehawed and talked, and changed the subject, tried to engage her in a longer conversation, but her comment was always, come with me to Agadir. I said, I am going to Agadir in three days, but this did not faze her and she did not want to see me in three days.

It seemed like she was a girl that came to Marrakech to get some strange, or to hook for the night. She needs either a cheap room or a place to stay so not finding either she was returning home. However, she should have if she was a prostitute want to come back to my room and stay. Although she did ask me which Hotel I was staying in and probably this hotel is not accepting to prostitutes, I am not sure, and do not know, so who really knows. I suppose I could ask the Hotel if I can bring Moroccan girls into my room, and see what they say, but this is one of them dangerous questions as it is like trying to convert an Islamic girl to Christianity. It is illegal I have heard to try to convert Islamic people here to Christianity and trying to bop them is right up there with converting… She never did say though, lets go to this Hotel, which I am sure Marrakech has prostitute hotels, I am not sure where, but I am 95 percent sure they do. She was a strange bird and who knows what she was up to…

My instincts say,

50 percent chance she was Morocco just wanting some fun.

50 percent chance she was a Morocco girl wanting some fun and I will have to pay a surcharge on the way out. Gift, money, bonus, something or pay for her bus fares, etc.

Oh, well life is stranger in some places.


December 1, 2004 10:23 AM

I just returned from the Internet café, plus a short stop to flirt with the girl in the bookstore and buy a good map of Morocco. This bookstore that I does not sell English books, does not sell an Arabic Map of Morocco…?

She thought it strange that I asked, but to me, this seems arrogant on my part to in anyway assume that the Moroccan people would not make a map using their own language. Nonetheless, I have one in French or English I am not sure, but this will have work. I need the Arabic one to show taxi driver and camel drivers.

I am in an exceptionally good mood as my web site had over 7000 visitors yesterday and this broke a record, but the day before it broke 6000 visitors for one day. Now that with my contextual advertising, I am whooping for joy and can upgrade from the minus two-cockroach hotel to the minus one.


I was talking from the second floor to the first floor with one of the girls that were leaving that is a Peace Corp Volunteer when an older French woman came out and told me to be quiet, she said, in English that was good.

“Be quite, there are people sleeping.”

I said,

“What time is it?”

She said,

“It does not matter people kept her awake all night.”

I was quiet and gave a hang signal to the girl downstairs with my translation of what I though and it was not the normal one, but a rare and very seldom used one.

Nonetheless, I was laughing at a person at

10:00 AM in a cheapie hotel complaining about noise, as this is on the top of my list of things I hate about travelers. They stay up all night partying and then want the whole world to understand their personal problems. 10:00 AM outside of a dorm room or even in a dorm room is acceptable time to say…

“Wake UP.”

I suppose any earlier and it is getting too early, but still I figure if you live in a cheap hotel then expect cheap noises. Funny though you can go to the five star hotels and still have extreme annoyances, or probably four and below, five is pretty high.

I am under the impression that I am in one of the exclusive Hotels for this area and this is the problem, I am having seeing excessively many people that want nice services in this hotel. There is a lady that comes everyday to sign up people that want to rent cars, this is the first time in my travel life that rental car companies have came to the hotel, tours a lot, but rental cars, no.

What is even more crazy is when the 5 dollar a night people want a wake up call in the morning, like they are living in a 5 star hotel. This is provided a lot, but I would not want to know the percentage of times the person is not woken up on time. Alarm clock work.


I am not sure, but a few people are complaining about Chickens and noise in the night. The manager conned me into a 80 Dirham single room that is posing as a double, but is really a single and should be costing me 70, but being that Moroccans con on a regular basis I am paying 80, so that is life, but normal for Morocco. However, in his effort to con me he put me in a room that has a very small window that does not face the courtyard. Probably thought I would be annoyed, but I am delighted.

This window allows sun to come in over my shoulder in the bed. I really despise a courtyard window because everyone walks by and look in the window or reach in and steal things. This one has no way to enter from the outside or look in because it is looking at a wall. However, it is also very quiet while the courtyard windows have the Chicken and noise of other travelers problem, they can hear the deck up top when they are partying.

But when I checked the room, it was perfect from so many way and passed my security check except for having a hasp on the outside, but very hard to find in Morocco and is only in maybe one in twenty rooms if that.

In addition, because they do not have a window to look in they do not see the light for reading I have, or the electric hot plate to boil eggs and inadvertently makes my room nice and warm. The do not have plugs in any of the rooms so I am laughing as they assume everyone is behind the eight ball and cannot make a shot… hehehe

Therefore, I am nice, warm, private and happy in my room and quiet, and the French lady has the expensive room, life is about choosing or making good choices and not about money.


Marrakech is definitely a two day and out city, but is a stocking up city, there is nothing to do here but look at people. But is sort of good for buying things you need to stock up, but I will find out tomorrow, I think the newer part may be better to buy staples and better than the Medina area.


I was reading or am reading presently an internet page by I believe a Norwegian man by the name of Tore Kjeilen thanks Chris from Idaho.

Tore - Writer page

Home Page



Wow, as I am copying and pasting his name to this page, it says this page is copyrighted in 1997, that means this page is probably eight years old and in eight years the world will change a lot, so the situation should be 10-20 percent more modern than what I am reading.

This man, company or web site is simple but concise, and full of the information I long for in a web site, hard to beat this type of intuitive and understanding type or writing…

I was about to say that I would like the Lonely Planet to have some writers that had this mans command of the English language and could explain in a balanced way like this writer. I am not sure and difficult to determine who wrote all of this and what parts are maybe with help, but my instincts tell me that this is written as a project of one man Tore Kjeilen.

This is similar to my web site as 99 percent has my slant on the pages, and this leads to problems and solutions.


The big problem about writing about travel is that you only know how to write about travel after you have traveled everywhere, so because it is impossible to travel everywhere one is prone to be uninformed.

Reading about travel and especially the new form of writing that is only created to sell books and tours does not work, you must travel and you must travel extensively, I am not sure how a person can do this? The money is the problem, you must be already born rich to have the money to learn the planet, but then what happens is they live inside a cloister or box and cannot see outside the five star worlds. I sometime meet individuals that I believe could be immensely wealthy hanging around on the fringes of Hostels and place, but they never will let on to their money situation and they are reclusive in nature and I suppose afraid. Money can be very dangerous for a traveler, as in most countries they kidnap rich people and hold them ransom. Sort of what is happening in Iraq presently and has happened massively in Mexico, Colombia, and many countries, the Kidnap for money business. Kidnapping is not an ideological thing, 99 percent of the time the money is the biggie, and substantiated with a social cause for the press.

But I am positive that what I believe and say today, I will change in the future some, not all, but most will change. The overall observations become clearer each year I travel, and my instinct to understand the underlying truths become better, but like any other traveler when I enter a new country, I am a new person in a strange land.

I suppose my best way of catapulting my advice for those people that do read everything would be for me to read all the travel writing in the world and maybe help choose which ones are good and which ones are bad. I guess I do this on my top travel sites, but still not possible to look at all the web pages in the world. Further of this thought down below.



Wrote I believe and this is only me remembering but not remembering because I am too young a lot of books like how to travel Europe on 5 and 10 dollars a day, although now he has went towards the higher end market he is still by far one of the experts on travel.


1808-92 a British travel Agent that is living on in his death or past as Thomas Cook Inc or something like that and he has travelers checks you can purchase, I would guess his travelers checks are number two after American Express to carry and the Brits all go on his charters and check out his tours and such, although Trailfinders has really taken over in England and StaTravel.


These two writers initially put together comprehensive and thorough books and tours that explained the complete picture, which was and still is amazing to me, tantamount to James Michener writing his Historical Novels with a pen and paper on various countries of the planet.

Mostly they are selling the richer stuff now.

These men knew or understood all variables of travel and could explain in simple terms the whole world of travel or a continent.


I have a yearly top travel site thing, I think I have done it for four years now and will be five; I am not positive and hate to sit around checking on information of no importance. Nevertheless, I have chosen yearly after the fact or after the year am over the web sites that have popped or came into my world and knocked me side the head.

That does not mean I go searching for good sites, they must find me, the rational for that is there are very few people like me, that are actually traveling, that actually go into internet cafes, that actually have a specific travel problem, like for instance.

How do I get from Marrakech to Ad Dakhla Morocco?

Then I search on the internet for the answers.

Do I find the answers? No, a little, but a guidebook is a lot better because it will or feels and obligation to help tell these answers. But like now I have just the abbreviated part of the Lonely Planet and it does not even have Essaouira in it, and it seems to say, stay in Marrakech and smoke dope, Morocco is dangerous so be a tourist. I am here in Marrakech and trying to buy Lonely Planet Morocco in English, I have no been able to find any in English, only in French, so I have purchased a French / English dictionary to make it possible to buy the guidebook in French. I can now empathize with the French when they go traveling and all the guidebooks are in English.

Therefore, I go into an internet café, search for answer and find very little, in the end it is the combination of

1. Internet Search with

2. Guidebooks

3. Studying the Maps

4. Other travelers I bleed for information and

5. Lonely Planet Thorntree or Frommers Forum

But there are still some good web sites like the one by this Tore person, but he is only really good for North Africa unless I do not know something.

Tore - Writer page

Home Page



The world would be perfect if we already knew all the answers, and then we would not want to know all the answers because the fun is in finding the answers.

Nonetheless, I spend time each December trying to choose or remember sometime what I think are the best web sites, so I will try to work on that this month. This I hope helps travelers make better judgments and they can use and if they BUY from any of these web sites they are apt to have better luck. The internet is in many ways becoming a big fraud on buying and the world’s greatest source of information, but the selling on the internet is mostly swindles. Hard to find true value for what you want to buy, I am amazed at the Airplane ticket crap. The student ticket airfare ticket industry is full of operators selling student discount tickets that are five time the normal cheap fares. Then the student do it to themselves because they all think they are smart enough to buy on the internet and get the cheap tickets, the part they lack is the knowledge of what is a cheap ticket?

So here are my Top Travel Site pages and if you have any WORLD class sites, and not just your USA or Airplane tickets between New York and London flights sites then send your recommendation, there is only 30 more days until the end of the year.

Normally the best sites are easy to find, but not always true. I am working hard to make a directory the last few days on all the 800 plus World Heritage sites so people can find them in, the United Nations in all their brilliance hires the techies with too many brains and not any marketing skills, so hopefully my new section on my web site will lead you astray… oops, not the idea, just a joke, internet sites are distracting, confusing and difficult to understand and mine is the most confusing in the world to me and to you I am sure, but normal.


Top Travel Sites of 2003

Top Travel Sites of 2004 - Work in PROCESS

Send suggestions by submitting comments below this heading.

Note for those very curious, look at the titles of all these pages and you will see if you look in the top left of the computer screen there is the title:

“UNESCO World Heritage Centre - World Heritage List”

On every one of them and never changes, what it should be for people to find better is the names below for each title, the title is the number one importance in my book for how to make a page found. Note for the really really too curious, I think this page was made by the French, I am still checking but it appears so, and the page is newly reformed or changed is in a techie world spectacular, but in a marketing world it a 4, but once you are on this field of dreams you are there, but extremely hard to find, ergo the reason for me trying to help them by making 800 pages. I will send the link when I am done and put also on this page:


All the World Heritage Sites in Morocco


Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida)

Medina of Fez

Medina of Marrakesh

Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou

Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador)

Historic City of Meknes

Archaeological Site of Volubilis

Medina of Tétouan (formerly known as Titawin)

Time to take a shower, I have a visitor today.


Some Peace Corp Volunteers arrived in my Hotel, there is maybe ten of them, they look like fresh meat for the wolves, the administrative girl seems really smart in all ways. Peace Corps is good and maybe I will try to collect some information...

I have a link for organizations like this, submit them if you have them.

Peace Corp Link


Go down this alley or street...

Normal small street leading to cheap hotels of the main Champs wanna be.

Say hello to the boys drinking Chai or Tea or really I do not know what they are drinking and enter the door to their left. Look at sign above door please.

This is a BATHHOUSE or Hammam in Arabic I believe, I did not enter.


I am either too observant or too curious in how people behave and act in the world, but I have discovered the first…

One person showered in my hotel.

I am on about day 12-15 in the country of Morocco, I am not sure, and the only way to know is to get up and check my passport for stamp date.

I met two Dutch surfer boys that went to the Hammams and had the massage and shower I hope for 60 Dirhams or about 6 U.S. Dollars.

Jennifer the Canadian Ontario girl I met up stairs on the deck said she went to the Hammams after a week of not showering in the desert up in north Morocco towards Algeria. She said it cost 7 Dirhams, which is reasonable, and about the same price, I pay at the Hotel in the end, but I think the Hotel shower is closer. My friend Nathan from the USA who is pretty pacifistic and thinks Bush is a liar, so does not like Bush however he now wants to militarize the United Nations to enforce the and enforce number 7 of United Nations decisions and settle a dispute down in South Morocco over the desert area, something to do with oil from Algeria and tribal people fighting. Blah blah blah etc. He is a student studying here in Morocco and quite intelligent for 20 years old. I could not stop myself when in his studies he derives that United Nations makes a decision and a demand, and then does nothing to enforce it… I said,

“That is what Bush said about Iraq.”

He is pretty smart and will slowly in my opinion separate his desire to be part of the gang or social click that likes to be Anti-Anything of power and what is really the deductive truths of the world and not decisions made because you like or dislike a person.

Nathan lives across the alley from me and he says they have removed the handle off the hot water shower so there is no way to turn on the hot water; he has a desire to have his Leatherman knife pliers.

I heard one person showering in my hotel. Day 12-15



Words are like a hobby for me, I enjoy learning about words, where they originated, and how and why other people on my planet will use a word and have no idea of the meaning. I do realize that learning is imitation of other in so many ways, but hard to realize or is it possible at a stage in our life we stop being parrots and repeating words until we contextually understand them and start to try to research the words.

I have already made up my mind I am going to soon make a subcategory under my language sections that is for word you need to know to visit a country. Maybe I can title the section


Too long


I want urgency of a need, they need to learn these word quickly or they will feel stupid or have to pretend, which is more normal that they understand the words when the do not.


That would make them feel like the must learn them…





I will have to come up with a short title, then I will make a submit page for all the 300 plus countries or territories etc. of the planet.

Example for you people that like to think too much similar to me.

The words for Morocco would so far for me be:

I have learned:


Souks I still do not know what this is?



I already knew these words, so did not feel stupid with them.





This is just an extension of a tip I wrote a couple of years ago about the top 200 words or a cheat sheet for languages.

If you say, you understand and know a culture and you cannot speak the language of that culture or explain the nuances of the words in that culture, then…

You know nothing!

OK, so back to the word Hammams

Note: Alex Garland said, OK is the most known word in the world and he is correct, up there with Hello when answering the telephone and Coca Cola.

I am wanting to study the world Hammams and also trying to avoid some smart A#$ person writing me mean letter telling me how I do not know how to spell Arabic words. This is the problem this is probably but I am still not sure an Arabic word, therefore when we translate the word to English it is spelled in multiple ways, and English is not the number two language or language of travel in Morocco, the language of travel in Morocco is French so you need to know French to travel in Morocco therefore … ergo that is the reason why there are very few English speaking travelers. This place presently is about 80-90 percent Frenchies.

I feel a person need to educated the Hotel staff on how to say,

“Hello” in English, they are just plain stupid when it comes to the basic ability to say Hello to 20 percent of their clients. Although for sure I am in the Lonely Planet English ok hotel and not the rest where the Routards the French guidebook would recommend.

NOTE TO SELF… If I want to meet French girls, I need to find out the popular with the backpacker hotels recommended by Routards, and then go be an ignorant and helpless American in the midst.

Everyone that speaks French will say the Moroccan people all speak English, but trust me, they are on the bottom of the world scale of tourist industry type places or destinations for English, they speak better English in France or Montreal and they try their best to ignore that they can speak English or know English.

Therefore, what do I do when I want to spell check a word that I am writing or trying to use?

First, I go see:


The guidebook does normally adopt the most common way to spell the word, and the people that write me have probably read the guidebook more than they researched the word, so they assume this is the correct way to spell the word in English and heavens know the Lonely Planet is always correct and there is no way there is an other or better opinion…. Aagh surrounded by a Lonely Planet!

However, I do use the Lonely Planet all the time because I understand the format and it is easy and probably still the best, except for South America.

I looked under

Danger and Annoyances

Nothing on Hammams

Society and Conduct

Nothing on Hammams - This is where they should say, if you want a shower?


Moroccan Arabic

Nothing on Hammams

But I did learn the word to call the language here is Darija

Which is a great word to add to the 200 to know - Darija

Darija means Moroccan Arabic or I would ask,

Darija o Frances?

I would suppose I would be asking although I need to test this,

Do you speak Arabic or French?

I already knew in the guidebook under:

Where to Stay

They mentioned how there was showers or Hammams down the street from many of the Hotel which either do not have shower or do not have hot showers. But please….!

Someone explain what is inside a Hammam, and how do I know what a Hammams looks like?

I have seen about three signs.

1. Looked like a pay through the nose tourist Hammam here in Marrakech because they had a good sign in English.

2. The other was in in Essaouira and I thought it was for the first few days a beer sign.

3. The other says, Hammans Petit Femmes

I am pretty sure that means women or girls, but I probably spelled the French wrong.

So I am still looking for the boys Hammams, and since I am in no hurry, I will eventually figure this out.


Nothing in Microsoft WORKS that spells Hammams however the word Hummus was in there and this is an Israeli food.

HUMMUS: Middle Eastern dip: a Middle Eastern dip made with mashed chickpeas, tahini, oil, lemon juice, and garlic, combined into a thick paste.

Ah, it is the chickpeas that give it that light brown color, so I learn something, but was not planning.



1. Not in English Dictionary

2. Not in English to French Dictionary

3. Not in French to English Dictionary.

I conclude this is not a French or English word, and 90 percent sure this is an Arabic type word.

However, I did find the word in the Encarta Encyclopedia in two places under


Reality is always the most humorous world.



Winsome Torment rose from slumber, rubbed his eyes, and went his way

Down the street towards the Hammam. Goodness gracious! people say,

What a handsome countenance! The sun has risen twice to-day!

James Elroy Flecker (1884 - 1915)

British poet.

The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse, "The Hammam Name" (Stephen Coote (ed.))


Last of all his shirt came flying. Ah, I tremble to disclose

How the shell came off the almond, how the lily showed its face,

How I saw a silver mirror taken flashing from its case.

James Elroy Flecker (1884 - 1915)

British poet.

The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse, "The Hammam Name" (Stephen Coote (ed.))


There is always talk about bathhouse and Gays and in England if my memory serves me right they have close a lot of public toilets because of too many problems with the Homosexuals inside the toilets. So the only factual or educational type references is the about Homosexuals going to a Hammams and for sure that was my first thought when someone mentions bathhouses or Hammams.

I made a joke with the Dutch boys.

“So, what do you do in a Hammams, sit around with a bunch of naked men?”

They mumbled…

Later I asked,

“So was it a girl or a boy that gave you a massage?’”

They said,

“A man.”

Then I said,

“Just as I thought, no fun.”

My thought is in a perfect world, in a perfect Hammams some beautiful dark hair, dark eyebrows, light colored eyes with the complete covered body would give me a steamy rubbed down bath, then I would stand there in my swimming trunks and say to myself,

“What is the situation, with or without my trunks?”

I am from Indiana, USA, these are those moments when my Indiana bread and born social ideas of the how to be and how to act in the world gets to negotiate with myself. Travel nothing like travel to make you feel unsure or what to do, and what is correct socially.

So I have seen one person shower in 12-15 days, they need a good scrubbing, obviously and better if they had help and paid, they need help.