Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Week 1
23 maart 2016
so tomorrow it's been a week since I arrived here in Casablanquita. I was very lucky for Anwar, the brother-in-law of my supervisor at the KU Leuven to come pick me up from the airport. He brought me to my apartment in Casablanca, which has a sleeping couch, my own bathroom, an Arabic carpet and a desk (which Anwar called my 'office)'. We walked around a bit that night looking for some food, and I was very overwhelmed by the amount of people in Casablanca and the busy traffic. There are honking cars pretty much everywhere, and crossing the streets is basically a matter of running for your life. I think by now I've got the skill down, just find a local and just follow them when they cross the street, so far it's working. Also by now I'm quite used to the hustle and bustle of Casablanca.
The next day Anwar's mother was so kind to bring me some couscous and it was delicious! Anwar took me to the market where I bought fresh fruits and veggies and some beautiful Moroccan clothes. Anwar also showed me around the city, the most important places, some other markets and it gave me a sense of what is where. That night there was a couchsurf meeting in a café in downtown Casablanca where I met a whole bunch of supernice people. About 80% of them were Moroccans, the rest international travellers or work-awayers. After the meeting we went to a bar where I talked more to two guys about dating life in Casablanca, which was very interesting and useful for my thesis. All purely scientific fieldwork ;) A lot of people were interested in the topic of my thesis and a lot of people wanted to help me out finding respondents. Later, even though it was only 12 at night and I was heading home, they insisted on me taking a cab home. Casablanca at night is indeed a bit shady and apparently the guys take cabs too. Pretty sure I paid double the taxi fare that evening but, oh well, it's worth it because you definitely feel uneasy at night, especially when you're walking alone.
The next day Anwar took me to the city again to help me find some suitable cafes and diners where I could find potential respondents as well. Until about 20 years ago, cafes were places where only men would come, if women would enter they would think of them as 'bad women' or 'women with certain intentions'. Luckily, that has changed now men, women, families, couples who secretly meet up, everyone is in cafes but you still notice some cafes still have that men-only vibe. Spent the rest of the time working on my thesis, doing grocery shopping and going for walks to the city to see different parts of Casablanca. There is still much left!
Yesterday I went to Rabat to have a meeting with my local supervisor, a professor from the University of Leiden who also gave me some useful advice for my thesis and I spent a bit of time in their local library where they have some books on sexuality and gender in Morocco. Afterwards, I met up with a girl who is doing her PhD in London on women representation of ngo's in morocco and on the changes in family law in Morocco. Unfortunately, the groups are quite fragmented because they want different things. We went out for dinner in a place where I had a nice vegetable tajine and some supersweet Moroccan mint tea. We went for date-avocado shakes in another cafe with cookies. Hmmmm. I met her French flatmate who did research for the UN or something who gave me some good advice for the interviews.
On the train back to Casablanca I met an Italian girl, who also gave me good advice for my fieldwork. She also did her fieldwork in Morocco when she was doing her master's. It's so amazing how the people I've met so far are so helpful and give you great tips or recommendations based on their own experiences. Definitely superthankful for that!
The trainconductor escorted us to another place in the train, and I was wondering why we had to sit in another place, in a train compartment, and she told me it's kind of a way of looking out for girls or women who are traveling alone 'late at night' (around 21:30 at night). It's nice in a way that they do that for you, but on the other hand it's kind of creepy too that it's necessary. It definitely makes you appreciate your safety back at home that you sometimes take for granted.
Tonight, meeting up with another English girl who can also help me find respondents since she works at the British school. Yayyy! So I should be having quite a bit of interviews soon. I'll keep you guys updated. Bislammah!
24 maart 2016 12:42 | Door: yerünti
Keeeeeeeetttt. wat een leuk verhaaltje en wat maak je toch weer veel mee!
Siked! Geniet van de ervaring en keep us posted!! :D
Oh en wat ruig dat je waarbenjij.nu gewoon nog gebruikt! Meha oldschool
8 april 2016 11:28 | Door: Tahné
Super leuk om te lezen Cait! Altijd zulke levendige verhalen:)
Fijn dat je zoveel lieve mensen ontmoet:)
Pas goed op jezelf!