Chef was amazing and it felt like I was visiting a family member’s home town- it was welcoming and I could have stayed for a long time. But friends of mine were leaving for Tangier, stopping over in Spain, and I felt the need to see as much of the country as I could while I was there. Staying in Chef would have been too easy. And I wasn’t planning on coming back to Morocco, so I needed to get in as much as possible. We decided to take the ferry over to Tarifa, Spain, for two nights, then come back to Tangier for a night and day before heading home to Rabat.
We boarded the ferry after going through customs and the excitement mounted- we were soon going to be in a non-Muslim, western country…
Hitting the streets, we gawked secretly at short shorts and exposing crop-tops, pretending to take pictures of us looking shocked at the sight of such a thing.
And then there was the food- fresh fruit served before meals, heavenly salads with tomatoes and cucumbers, crisp lettuce, sharp vinegar. I was cleansing out the heavy, starchy foods of Africa and I was grateful. We found a perfect restaurant called Cafe 10 and I would have eaten there for every meal if I could (I came pretty close, stopping in there 3 times on our last day): Avocado layered on toast with poached eggs, tomatoes and feta cheese. Cafe con Leche. Crepes with chocolate, banana and whipped cream. It was like I had designed the menu myself.
It was hard to muster up the excitement to go back to Morocco, see Tangier and collect my things from Rabat after spending an afternoon watching kite surfers sprint back and forth on the shore, launching 8-10′ in the air and gracefully landing. Wind surfers cut diagonal lines with sharp sails sparkling in the sunlight. Beautiful surf bums, chiseled 6-packs, sun and salt bleached blonde hair, exposed tan skin… happy people. I could spend a lot of time there.
That was the beginning of realizing that I may have seen enough of Morocco. The thought of going back to another bowl of Tagine, going back to Rabat and our co-working space in a sketchy neighborhood with women (if you rarely spotted one) who were covered head to toe, eyes lowered. There were some wonderful things about Morocco, but the oppression of women was wearing on me.
We sadly left Tarifa on the last ferry of the day to Tangier, after spending nearly 2 glorious days there, watching the sun set behind the salt covered windows of the boat. We’ll be back, Spain… Just 3 more months and we’ll be living in Valencia. Can’t wait.
Scenes from Tarifa are below, followed by Tangier.
A day and evening in Tangier: