Driving in Morocco: Not for the Faint of Heart

This is a Hipmunk post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

I’m currently in Istanbul for the first time, a city of old and new, of cobblestone streets and majestic mosques looming over the city, standing guard. It’s a wonderful place to spend a few weeks and with plenty of food to explore and ferries to shuttle me to the Asian side of the city too, I suspect I’ll stay put for the rest of the month.

Arriving here was a bit of a culture shock from Morocco, as Istanbul is quite European. Gone were the donkeys lining the road, the clouds of diesel fuel and rattling, rusty old buses, the many pots of tagine bubbling at the side of the highway. Before I move into writing about Turkey, I wanted to link to a post I wrote about driving in Morocco, which was just about as insane as it gets in this region. 

Beautiful view on the High Atlas mountains in Morocco

Mountain roads in Morocco.

From honking to passing to people flying around blind curves without checking to see if a car is coming, I’ve tried to decode the sheer nuttiness of driving in Morocco. Example? Passing.

Passing can be signaled in a variety of ways.

1) If you want to pass a car, honk your horn as you begin to pass the car in front of you, and then honk again as you pass, and a third time as you hop back into your lane.

2) If you are being passed, there’s a good chance the person behind you is tailgating and/or cannot see in front of your car anyhow because there’s a blind curve up ahead. Once you notice another car coughing on your exhaust, use your signals to help them figure out when to pass. A left signal would indicate that they cannot pass and in fact if they did try and pass they would meet a car or truck head on fairly quickly. A right signal indicates that there is no one in the general vicinity (and by “general vicinity” I mean 5 seconds of passing time) and now’s your chance to make a move. Sticking your hand out the window and moving it front and back, as if to say holy crap, person tailgating me, why don’t you PASS ME ALREADY also works.

More here. Hope you enjoy!

-Jodi

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