A Night Out in Rabat
It’s 7:30 PM, I’m walking home from a study session. It’s Friday! I came to work today although it’s technically my day off, as there was a lot of work left to be done. It’s been a long, strenuous day (and week!) and I can’t wait to drop my bag, drink some tea with the family, and relax.
I arrive to find Saad (14), Yassir (15) and Mohammed (24) all sitting in the living room watching some skateboarding videos. Mohammed tells me about this Moroccan concert taking place tonight in the Renaissance café/cinema, just a 20-minute walk from here. It’ll be nice to get my head out of the work-study mindset for an evening, so we get ready and get going.
Eugénie, our French friend, joins us as we arrive at the event. We arrived late so there are only a few places left to sit on the floor– right at the front. Not really knowing what to expect, we sit down, excited.
It’s starting. The musicians come in, playing their instruments, and the atmosphere changes– what was just a room of spectators, becomes a dancing ground, where a few teenage boys start throwing their legs in the air, squatting and shaking their hair around… quite a scene to witness. Eugénie and I don’t know what to do, but sitting around when 50 people are up in your face dancing like crazy isn’t really an option, so we get up and attempt to dance. It’s really harder than it looks!
An hour later, standing next to a somewhat drunk woman desperately trying to teach us how to be less stiff, the concert ends, and all leave happy and excited, and Eugénie, Mohammed, his friend Souffian and I decide to go somewhere else to continue the night.
We get in the car, sing along to some Spanish songs (no, none of us speaks Spanish), and arrive at “Upstairs”, a smoky bar with live music. We order some beer, have a couple good conversations, and we all get tired at some point. That dancing took its toll on us.
We make our way back to the car, realise we are all starving, and stop by a sandwich-pizza-pasta-salad-… well, an all you can eat type of kiosk, and order paninis. Eugénie and I laugh too much about the fact that a portion is called a “ration” here, and we all hide back into the car to go home.
Mohammed and I walk Eugénie back home in the Medina, and we then start walking home. The Medina at 1 AM is quite something, somewhat peaceful, but still somewhat alive full of boys playing soccer, garbage men cleaning up, and many, many cats.
We arrive home to find that Eugénie has called me countless times in the last 20 minutes, and she finally explains that she’s locked out, in the middle of the Médina (which, if you’ve been here, you know isn’t the place to hang out on your own, as a girl, at night). Mohammed gets her and she sleeps over at my host family’s house. What started as a spontaneous concert turned into a spontaneous drink and food on the side of the street, to then a spontaneous sleepover after being locked out… That’s my trip to Rabat for you!