Morocco is a truly great place to live and work. Truly. ESPECIALLY if you do not have to get anything done legally or professionally. If you just go to work and live your life, things are GREAT here. It has one of the least expensive standards of living that I know of. You can literally live here on 350 US dollars per month, including rent. I am not kidding. I will probably return here to retire, because I can actually afford to live here, fairly well, on my puny little teacher’s retirement pension. Well – not HERE, where I am living at the moment,. because Azrou and Ifrane are on the top of Middle Atlas Mountains. That means, folks, that it is far too cold here for a south Georgia (USA) native. I will return to Morocco and retire here a good bit further south than where I am now – somewhere outside of Agadir, which is twelve hours’ drive south of here, and on Morocco’s Atlantic seacoast. Now, there is a retirement haven!
The only real glitch to living and working in Morocco is when you need to get any paperwork done. O.H. M.Y. G.O.D. See – Morocco was for decades a French possession. It is still the second most often spoken language here, after Moroccan Arabic. The French are absolutely legendary for bureaucracy. They INVENTED it. And they have thoroughly infected Morocco with it. You would not BELIEVE the hassles of getting A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G legal done here. It took my husband six months to register our little plastic car – and multiple trips to Meknes (one hour’s drive away) and Azrou (twenty minutes’ drive away) before he could get it done. Multiple, multiple trips. Every time he would go, they would look at his stack of paperwork, and tell him: you need one more paper – and they did this repeatedly – one more paper at a time. They would not tell him all the papers he needed at once, it was literally one paper at a time, like it was a state secret how many papers he would eventually have to have, and Morocco would fall into the sea if they told him at once all the papers he needed at the same time.
Plus, everybody in the government offices goes to lunch at the same time. See, in America (which Morocco is NOT) government employees go to lunch at staggered times so that the office is always open. HA. Not here. Plus, in America, lunch is at most one hour. HA. Not here. They think nothing of a three-hour lunch – and they don’t even drink. How can you eat lunch for three hours??
Now that I have accepted a job in Panama, I have to obtain documents here in Morocco before I can ship my belongings there. I have to ship because airlines have gotten real shirty about letting you bring any luggage, unless your ticket costs a gazillion dollars. I fly economy coach – they let me bring, like…a toothbrush. No, really, I can bring one checked bag and a carry-on. For a two-year contract in another country. Try condensing all the stuff you need for two years into one bag and a carry-on. I am female – are you serious? So, I ship stuff via ocean freight, because it is the cheapest way I know of to get stuff from one place to another. But, but, but….I have to have the documents before I can ship. This explains why I am starting months early. I am worried that still might not be enough time, given what I know about getting papers here in Morocco. Seriously. Still – hope springs eternal!