Tag Archives: traffic tip

Attitude of Gratitude–Day 8–Opportunities

I caught the travel bug when I was 15 years old on my first international jaunt to Geneva, Switzerland. The experience was so exhilarating and magical that I vowed to myself I would make it my priority to appreciate the far flung corners of this beautiful earth as much as I possibly could. Since that trip I have managed to touch my feet on the soil of 16 different countries and 4 continents, and have called two of these countries my ” home away from home.”

Traveling provides priceless growth opportunities. Opportunities to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, meet new people, learn a new language, eat different foods and invites time for self-reflection.

When I chose to study International Relations in college it all boiled down to that feeling I felt the first I traveled–the exhilaration, curiosity, confusion, magic. Those who study the workings of the world can attest that the reason is due to a genuine desire to call it our home. We want to make it accessible. We want to break down the barriers of language, culture and geography. We want to impact the world and leave our marks on it.

And so when I would get the question, what do you want to do with your studies? my answer my answer was pretty generic. “I would like to find a job that would allow for me to travel.” (Unless I was talking to my dad..then, of course, it was because I wanted to be some high profile diplomat, yielding immunity to traffic tickets and paying off my student debt…)

Today, as I booked my first international work trip to Poland, I thought to myself, “ya done good, kid!” Not only am I doing a job that is fulfilling my need to learn and grow, but I get to travel too!

So today I am grateful for the feelings of excitement I get when I start to plan a new voyage. I am grateful for the opportunity to travel and explore a new part of the world, to my company, Education First Cultural Care Au Pair, for encouraging it, and I’m grateful for all the roads that lead me to my home.

“May your trails be crooked and dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” Edward Abbey

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To get to the other side; 7 Tips on Crossing the Road

The seemingly normal act of crossing the street  is a whole new beast in Morocco. Traffic laws and road rules are vaguely optional, red lights are a suggestion, passing on the right hand side is customary, and the pedestrian right of way an alien concept. Thus, getting to the other side is a skillful task, one in which newcomers to Moroccan soil must learn asap.

NOTE: This is a high risk game of Real Life Frogger. 

Some of my earliest technological memories were of this Sega game, and I’m grateful for the early exposure to unconventional methods of crossing the street. If you adhere to my following tips, you will learn to cross the street like a pro and avoid getting squashed by on coming taxis, cars, and other rogue vehicles.

Tip 1: Go forth or turn back from whence you came.

During my first few weeks in Morocco I was terrified to cross the street. Someone would have to guide me, or pull me along so that I didn’t end up standing on the sidewalks edge for 15 minutes hoping for a large enough opening in the traffic to allow my safe crossing to the other side. I was petrified of being hit, thrown up onto the windshield, and carried for some unknown distance (measured in meters) on the hood of some tin-y blue taxi. My fears were semi-assuaged, however,  and I started taking cues from fellow pedestrians. Look both ways, then walk directly into oncoming traffic. It’s the only way.

Tip 2: Stop in the middle of the street.

Don’t tire yourself out. Crossing the street can be stressful and induce fatigue. Take breaks. Hang out in between the traffic.

Tip 3: (For a more advanced approach) try walking with the flow of traffic.

If you can’t manage to find a large enough opening to cross in, step into the road and try walking along between the cars in the direction of your destination. Sure you may be in the middle of the road, but you must learn to amplify your walking time. The more breaks you take, the longer your travel time will be.

Tip 4: Watch out for side-view mirrors!

Drivers don’t usually slow down when driving along narrow streets. A side-view mirror in your rib cage hurts like a bitch. Avoid contact  at all costs.

Tip 5: Don’t take angry honks personally.

Everyone here drives like a drunk driver. This is an observation soaked with irony, seeing as Morocco is a Muslim country and most Moroccans don’t imbibe the adult sodas. But if truth be told, a typical driver’s reaction time here is slow and only to his/her immediate surroundings. Nothing is anticipated. Cars swerve, horns blow, you get cut off — c’est la vie.

Tip 6: There is power in numbers.

Cross with fellow pedestrians. The more numerous you are the better your chances are stopping the traffic coming at you.

Tip 7: Use the force.

Put your hand out, young Jedi. It signals to the cars that you see them, you do not fear them and that you wish for them to heed your command to let you pass.

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May the force be with you.

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