Sometimes it’s pretty funny to see how the same things or situations are perceived in two different ways in Poland and Morocco. I love you, my Readers, so I have to share this with you.
And I love both countries equally, with their negatives and positives.
I think that’s an interesting insight into cultural differences and it may enlighten some of you who struggle with interracial relationships, cultural shocks, who moved abroad and are having a hard time accepting things there.
Things will always be different in different places, and being different doesn’t mean being worse.
Living in Morocco has taught me a lot, opened up my eyes and made me more conscious about who I am, what I want and made me more aware about countless things.
If you are too touchy about your culture, have no sense of humour, distance or don’t know the definition of “sarcasm” in some cases, don’t continue reading this article.
“Sh*t, Morocco can’t be China’s customer this time.”
Bargaining is not an option in Poland, we like to know everything before choosing it; the price, condition, features. In Morocco everything happens more mysteriously, you never know what the outcome of your shopping will be. Negotiating is a lifestyle in Morocco.
Remember, in Morocco there is always a way out! Everything can be somehow solved and agreed on.
When you get lost in Poland and ask someone to give you directions, they will help if they know and say that they don’t know if they really don’t know.
In Morocco people will give you directions even if they don’t know the way. They just want to help you anyway.
Polish weddings have three main activities:
1. The married couple is having fun and sweating with the guests.
2. There is a bottle of vodka per couple
3. Your disgusting, drunk uncles will ask you to dance with them (that’s the part I dislike the most)
Moroccan weddings are totally the opposite. Alcohol is not officially a part of it, bride and groom are there to look beautiful and not to have fun with their guests, men are unlikely to ask women to dance with them.
In Poland we start off with a massive breakfast, we like to have the energy for the whole day. The lunch (well, in Poland we eat dinner and not lunch) is quite big, and the supper (it is what Moroccans call the dinner) is light and early, at 6PM or 8PM.
In Morocco skipping breakfast is quite common, as common as eating late breakfast. Lunch is not that big, but the dinner (meaning our supper) is late and heavy. Moroccans like to eat at 10PM or later.
I was on the train with a friend of mine, we were having a vivid conversation and his bottle of water was right in his hand. A random guy asked if he could drink some because he was thirsty. My friend passed the bottle to the guy, he drank and gave it back to my friend. And it is normal in Morocco, I’ve seen it happen so often and I love it. I don’t imagine such a situation in Poland.
Sharing is caring and when you travel on a bus or train in Morocco and someone is eating, be sure they would invite you to join them! It happened to me as many times as I travelled by public transport and I find it super cute!
“Europeans have clocks, Africans have time”
In Poland if someone is late, expect them to call you and let you know. Being late more than 15min is socially unacceptable and the person who is late will feel ashamed.
In Morocco you can set a meeting, wait for a person and… never see them. Or at least wait for them an hour. Or two.
I once waited for my doctor in a clinic in Casablanca for 4 hours just to hear that… he had a plane to Paris and would be back next week.
Greeting each other
We, Poles, are a cold nation. For a Pole it’s enough to say “hi” on the street whilst for a Moroccan it should be minimum asking about health, family and well-being. A mini conversation is a must with all the neighbors.
In Poland ordering a freshly squeezed juice with sugar would sound crazy. In Morocco ordering a juice without sugar sounds crazy.
In Poland it’s perceived impolite to ask too many questions and go too deep into someone’s personal life. In Morocco it’s all right to ask about pretty much everything.
A real-life conversation with a taxi driver:
Me: Carrefour in Ziraoui street, please
Driver: Ok, Are you going to pick up your kids from school?
Another conversation (I’ve had many similar ones):
Driver: Are you Moroccan?
Driver: American? Russian?
Driver: Married to a Moroccan or a foreigner? (Obviously the “unmarried” answer was not an option)
Why not? When are you going to get married then?
Why no kids yet? When are you going to have kids? It’s good to have kids early!
Shops in Poland are open early and close early. In Morocco they open late and close late. Fancy a sandwich late at night? No problem, bakeries are open 7/7 till late evening hours. You won’t stay hungry in Morocco!
That’s something that hurts me in Morocco – such a beautiful country and still so many people show the lack of respect for the environment. So many landscapes have been destroyed by rubbish. I hope step by step it will change, like it changed in Poland.