Heads up, Rabat gets cold in the winter (Al-Shitta الشتاء) months. If it’s sunny during the day it’s beautiful, but there have been some chilly winds a-blowing, especially at night and in the morning. My friends and I who have not been blessed with heating in our apartments (the majority) have spent the past week layering up, drinking tea and huddling in mounds of blankets once we get home.
If, like me, you couldn’t pack many winter clothes because of space restrictions, worry not. There’s an open-air, second-hand market located in an area of town called J-5. It’s the Mecca of retro, vintage and quirky clothes, all thrown haphazardly into piles that you sift through and pay $2 – $10 for. I may look like a walking 90’s throwback, but by god am I warm now.
Bonus: The ¾ kilo of fresh churros that my friends and purchased nearby the market for a dollar. Did we think it was a great idea at the time? Yes. Are we slightly regretting it now? A little.
We also had a period of two weeks in November where we received rains of biblical proportions. Which meant flooding. Which meant that my feet, clad only with a pair of sandals, (think “grandma-safari-chic”), never dried. It got gross fast, so I resorted to paying “Agdal” prices for a sturdier shoe that would act as a barricade between my toes and the mix of road oil, garbage, shit and decomposing cat that was being swept through the city.
On a funny side-note, I don’t pay attention to people’s feet. Hence, I will never notice if you have bought new shoes or not. I’ll likely never notice a pedicure and if your feet are gross – unless I can smell them – I will likely never notice them either. I guess I expected that other people had a similar disinterest in my feet. Well, I was wrong. When I wore my new shoes to class, it was like I’d won a Nobel prize. My classmates were so proud of me for ditching the grandma-safari-chic sandals. It was pretty funny, if not a little mortifying to think that my sandals had become the source of such ire. Granted, I’d had them for years and after wearing them to the beach multiple times in Rabat, they did have an ocean’s large-intestine kind of smell going on. Rabat beach isn’t the cleanest and it’s difficult for clothes to dry in the humidity of summer.
Adding to the list of what to bring to Morocco: a good-quality rain jacket, warm layers, sturdy rain-appropriate shoes and a love for churros.