Three hours after leaving Casablanca, I was in Tangier. This city was at the northern part of Morocco. Close to the Mediterranean Sea, this city has such a strong Spanish influence. Some of the buildings have Spanish architecture. This area’s history with Spain goes back several hundreds to thousands of years. It almost looked like I was in Latin America.
Got to my Airbnb apartment, it was near the beach. This looks a like an awesome place to visit during the summer time. The cold breeze with the beautiful beaches confused me. I felt I like running downstairs to jump into the water. What stopped me was the need to have my winter coat with me. It was like a very cold Miami without the heat.
Some of the people here speak Spanish. You can tell where someone is from originally because of how they speak Spanish. The history this place has with Spain is interesting. When the Spanish Jews and Moors got kicked out of Spain, they had to settle in different parts of North Africa. Others converted to Christianity and left for the Spanish colonies in the Americas. So, the Spanish Moors and Jews that went back to Morocco settled in this region of the country. The Jews settled more in the “Blue city” or Chefchaouen that’s about an hour away by car.
Went to a mall near my accommodation. I wanted to eat out and try some Moroccan food. To my disappointment, all the food was American globalization flavored. I did have a conversation with a local that spoke Spanish. He couldn’t speak English and my skills towards this country’s governmental languages are horrible. Spanish was our common language. My new friend let me know that he learned Spanish from his parents. He even spoke Spanish with a Spaniard accent but he looked Latin American. It was surreal to experience this. I felt like the biggest history nerd knowing this guy has roots to the Moors and/or the sephardic jew. Spanish is taught at home by being passed down generationally. Same goes with judaism.
Came back near the apartment I rented, I was a little annoyed. I went to Morocco to eat hamburgers and french fries. There’s a French joke here, but I’m not going to touch it. Anyways, I wanted to eat Moroccan food. Sadly, I started to noticed that local food is hard to come by when you are staying in the touristy areas.
Stay safe everyone and remember to wash your hands!
Sorry for posting on Thursday. Had a wild day yesterday.
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Twas the night before Christmas, somewhere there was a kid secretly opening their presents without the adults knowing. When I was a toddler, that kid opening presents early was me. The Christmas spirit filled me with so much nostalgia. At one point in my life, it was my favorite time of the year.
Seeing families with their children running home put a smile on my face. Everybody looked happy and relaxed. The Puerta Del Sol was packed with people. All eyes fixed on the neon lighted Christmas tree. I was in lost for words. This tree lived up to the hype.
The texture and patterns of the lights were so interesting. It felt like Times Square when the ball drop for new year’s. The Spanish public square was completely packed. Everywhere you turned, there was a person with a camera. Had to get out the main part of Puerta Del Sol to take a photo. It was almost impossible to get close to the tree.
Still with all these people, I was loving the moment. People were all together celebrating something positive. Not sure, why that stood out to me. Maybe because I feared someone or something would make a negative out this celebration. Luckily, everything was relaxed. You didn’t even see police with guns imposing like you do in the USA. There was no sense of intensity here. Just smilingly faces with joyful expressions.
Started walking back to my Airbnb apartment. The thought about of my family came to my mind. I wonder how they were doing. I spoke with my parents and everything was fine. What made me pounder, were my cousins. We used to be so close. Yearly, I used to celebrate Christmas with them. Around this time as kids, my brother and I used to travel to New York City to visit. Sadly as you get older, sometimes family bonds fade away. Who you considered your love ones, don’t always want to show you love back. Please, treasure the good moments with your love ones. You never know what the future has in store! Regradless of how I was feeling, loved my time in Madrid.
Hey everyone we got nominated for the sunshine award!!
I Want to say thank you to chocoviv. She is someone who is always positive! I really recommend reading her blog! Here is the link! Even when everything is not going her way, she alway looks at the bright side of things. Her blog is for people who love positivity. Truly honoured that she reads my blog post 🙂
The Sunshine Blogger Award Rules :
Thank the blogger (s) who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
List the rules and display an award logo on your blog.
Answer the 11 questions the blogger (s) asked you.
Nominate 11 other bloggers to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
Ask the nominees 11 new questions.
1) Do you celebrate Christmas? If not, do you celebrate any special day in December?
Yes, I celebrate Christmas. However, the way My family and I celebrate it is different than the main stream. It’s more about eating food than exchanging presents. Our meals are the presents.
2) What book are you reading right now?
Currently reading the 48 laws of power.
3) Netflix or YouTube?
Youtube all the way. Since most of it is free.
4) Favourite movie?
The movie Hugo. It’s crazy how it has my name as the movie’s title and I could relate it to struggle of the main character.
5) Favourite artist?
Don’t really have a favorite. For some reason Bob Marley is the first to come to mind.
6) Dream vacation location?
Antarctica! Currently planning on going there soon!
7) When did you start blogging?
About 4 years ago
8) Why did you start blogging?
My friend recommended me to start blogging. Sadly he just wanted to use me.
9) Do you like using gift bags or are you a wrap-expert?
We don’t do normal gifts. Our meals are the gifts. So i guess plastic bags.
10) Favourite childhood toy?
A teddy bear i called Pacheco. I losted it somewhere.
11) Go to friend’s house or host the party at your own place?
Probably go to a friend’s house. I hate when people are at my home. Things tend to go missing.
Alright! Time for my questions!!
1) what are your plans for next year?
2) How are you going to make sure those goals are accomplished for next year?
3) What is the favorite place you traveled to?
4) Do you like to travel alone or with friends?
5) what is the funniest travel story you experienced?
6) Does it snow this time of the year where you live?
7) When did you start blogging?
8) Do you enjoying blogging?
9) What is the best thing that has happened to you this year?
It was Christmas Eve today, I had to explore before everything starts to close for the holiday. Walking around I was surprised to see how clean this city was. The locals were very friendly. Probably because of the jolly Christmas spirit lighted a fire in their smiles.
Madrid is a city full of diversity. Not just with immigrants from all over the world. The Spanish capital has someone from every corner of Spain. It’s so interesting seeing people speaking one of Spain’s many languages.
Kept exploring, until I ended up near a central train station. Apparently, the train station was closed due to Christmas. Wandering around, I was asked to take a photo of fellow tourists. They were from Mexico City. Spoke with them about the current affairs in Spain and Mexico. We had such an interesting conversation, they recommended me to go to Mexico City. They even offered to show me around. It’s so crazy, how one conversation can lead to a new contact. Not sure why random people have so much faith in me.
After meeting new friends, I started walking towards this beautiful looking building. As shown in the picture above, it looked like a church in Latin America. Seeing the Spanish architecture mixed with other European styles left me in awe.
Ended up going to Puerta del Sol. I was told to come here to see the Christmas tree by locals. They told me the tree is very beautiful at night. I couldn’t wait to see what the hype was about. This reminded me of my childhood going to Union square in San Francisco to see the Christmas tree.
As the sun was setting, I readying myself for the night. Found a restaurant that sold chocolate dipped churros. I always thought this was a Mexican snack. However, the Spaniards claim they invited it. Either way, night was upon us. Let’s see what it had to offer. Who knew that night would be so beautiful.
Landed in Madrid on December 23 , two days before Christmas. The flight from Tangier to Madrid was about an hour long and costed me 25 dollars. I never been to Spain, so I was super excited to see what this city had to offer.
Took a taxi from Madrid’s international airport to my Airbnb apartment. Got into a conversation with the taxi driver about the current affairs in Spain. Barcelona really wants independence. They been fighting for it recently and it’s had become more intense. I was told to not speak Spanish to locals in Barcelona. It might cause a fight.
Once settled, I had to eat. I haven’t eaten since being in Morocco. There was no food given out on that flight. Maybe, that’s why it was so cheap.
Found a place near the apartment I rented out. It was owned by a Chinese couple. It was interesting to see Chinese people speak Spanish with Spaniard accent. It was kind of mind blowing to be honest.
Of course, I ordered rice with beans. For desert, it was flan with a glass of sangria. These are so common in Latin American countries that I almost felt at home. Speaking Spanish was so simple and natural to me. Coming from Morocco, having people around that spoke Spanish felt like 10 tons of weight left my shoulders. Compared to my time in Morocco, they only spoke french and arabic. Few spoke English or Spanish.
People were surprised to hear me speak Spanish with a non-Spaniard accent. They couldn’t believe I was from the USA. Americans really don’t have a good reputation around the world. I’m constantly reminded of it. PS. We are known as culturally ignorant. Please, make sure we change their views.
Once my meal was done, I walked around little bit. Didn’t want to go too far because getting lost was not my ideal situation at the moment. I usually wait for the second day. Got back to my apartment and was ready for the next morning.