Saturday, April 30, 2011

Drinking Liberally: Morocco

So here's the thing about bars/clubs in Morocco: you have to be careful where you go because it may just be a brothel. In fact, one of the main hotels of Rabat, Hotel Balima, where I stayed my first night in Morocco, has a "nightclub" in the basement full of prostitutes and prospective customers.

The other pitfall of Moroccan clubs/bars: the alcoholic selection. Consumption of alcohol by Moroccans is technically illegal though the law is not enforced. Plus, the sale of alcohol to a Moroccan is also illegal. These two factors combine to make bars, clubs, and places that sell/serve alcohol somewhat hard to find and a little shady.

Luckily in a surprising twist, travelers to Morocco have the French to thank for the existence of quality drinking establishments. Being a former French colony, Morocco is rife with French ex-pats and French culture, including alcohol.

All of this leads to a weekend of craziness and merriment. Some of the other students and I managed to find a "club" that was highly acclaimed as a Western-styled club with Western-style music. It also ended up having the cost of a Western-style club as well. However, it ended up being everything it was billed to be plus some. Moroccan youth live in such a repressive society, from both religion and cultural traditions, that when they get a chance to let loose, they let loose. It's like the old adage about someone who had really strict parents in high school and arrives in college to just become a party animal.

Hence, Moroccans have no self-control when it comes to alcohol. Even more, everyone was participating in the sexual freedom to get some action on and off the dance floor. Speaking of the dance floor, Moroccans are horrible at dancing. Their dancing maybe suited to an Arab wedding but that's about it. This makes for a rather odd scene at a Western-style club; lots of wedding dancing. Now, my friends and I are nothing special when it comes to dancing but we didn't need to be great dancers to impress in Morocco. We quickly took up the dance floor and the attention with a couple "neat" moves but many more corny, cheesy moves that would get us laughed off the dance floor in the US. Oh yea, we busted out the sprinkler, and people ate it up. We were the stars of the show all night long.

But alas, Moroccans party long and hard. There is only so long we could go dancing and drinking horribly over-priced bad beer. We headed home around 5:30am. My ears were still ringing the next day.

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