I suppose if you’re reading this you want to know about my twenty first birthday fun. Well, the thing that I love about Morocco is that there really isn’t a very large party scene. (Yes, I said I love that fact—it’s beyond nice to be away from that) This is mostly because this is a Muslim country, and it is stated in the Quran that Muslims are not suppose to drink alcohol. Therefore, all bars/clubs are supposed to be for tourists, foreigners and non-Muslims only. (In all reality, however, I have never really seen that many tourists out at a bar. Your occasional hotel bar will have a few, but I just do not feel like many people come to Morocco to get a drink.) Now, you need a little background information about Fez. Although it is my favorite city in this country, it is by far the most conservative and close-minded city in this country. It is home to the oldest university in the world (the Islamic University), and it is renowned for its ability to produce highly educated religious scholars. That being said, it is a very old city with an intense amount of Moroccan Islamic culture, which is an amazing thing to experience on a day-to-day basis; however, this means that the Fassi drinking scene is one of the more pitiful ones in this country. Despite this, Tracy, Lauren and I set out to experience this latent part of Moroccan culture because what would a 21st birthday be without a bar?
Well, what would a 21st birthday be with pictures of ballerinas, an Eiffel tower over a dance floor, a cockroach and very sketchy men trying to buy you drinks? A 21st birthday in Fez that’s what. First, we go to the nicest (tourist) restaurant in Morocco and eat this fabulous 5 course meal. Then, we make our way to one of the clubs that Lauren saw in her guide book. The neon sign on the outside was not even lit and as we made our way down the stairs, the ugliest woman that I have ever seen in my life (I really am not joking, I think she had some of that surgically implanted make-up on too) walked out of the bathroom and into the club. On the door to the club was a picture of a ballerina (you know the kind that you see in dance studios for 5 year olds), and a cockroach was making its way across the floor. The cockroach (and not the intensely ugly woman, surprisingly enough) was the last straw, and we left to see if there was another club that was a little less sketchy. Our next attempt was a bust because the original club had been demolished so that they could start construction on a new one (why I don’t know because I really don’t think people go to clubs in Fez). Only in Morocco would they have a skylight for a club that is in the middle of construction with people working there at midnight.
So, by this time we were in a bit of a pickle. We had exhausted the clubs listed in Lauren’s guidebook (yes, there were only two) and it was getting pretty late (cabs are kind of impossible to come by that time at night.) One of the workers at the hotel near the club under construction told us that there is a club at this other hotel and he offered to call a cab for us. We paid our for our third 20 dirham cab ride of the night (which is quite a lot for a cab in this country) and arrived at our last club attempt. This one appeared a little less sketchy considering that it had fake red velvet carpet and men that looked like bouncers. We walk in and the first thing that we see is a mini-Eiffel Tower (which Lauren and I took a picture at—it’s on facebook) and as we turn to go inside we see a larger Eiffel Tower over the dance floor (we tried to take a picture but it was too dark). Behind the Eiffel Tower dance floor was a typical Egyptian band playing decent enough music and a truck coming out of the wall. I think this truck was a sound booth, but I really couldn’t tell. (oh yeah, there was also a windmill near the entrance) Besides us and the Egyptian band, there were probably 6 other people in this place (I think 2 more came before we left….)
We ordered a few drinks (which they didn’t even have a full bar…and they didn’t even know what was in their own bar) and watched exercise infomercials on the TVs around the club. Yes, Egyptian Music was playing and there were exercise (like Bowflex) commercials on the TV screens. At one point in time on of the woman went to the dance floor to be even more sexy for this guy she was “with” and so Lauren, Tracy and I decided that we would join her for moral support. I don’t think she saw it as such (I think she thought we were taking her territory) because she got off the dance floor and went back to dancing right in front of him. Either way, we had a good 30 minutes of dancing time under the Eiffel Tower before we gave up on the whole operation and went home. All-in-all, I’m glad I was with friends on my 21st birthday, but it was kind of a bust. Oh, how I love Fez. (it’s just not the place to be on a 21st bday)