Davidoff in Morocco

You never know who you’ll run into, and this holiday was no different than the rest. Returning to the hotel after a few hours out exploring, I had made my way to the lobby to get some ice for my knee, which was aggravated by some recent running. Now, in Casablanca, smoking inside is still legal and widely accepted, which explains the start of my story a bit.

I made my way over to the bar where I had gotten ice the other day. Walking up to the bar, there was a man sitting there smoking a cigar. For those of you who know me, you know I love cigars. As I made my way up to the bar, he immediately made a gesture of moving the cigar away or putting it out. I motioned no, and said I love cigars, forgetting the likelihood of him knowing English was 1 in 1000. Turns out, he did. A little anyway.

A middle-aged french salesman, Noel was thoroughly surprised to find a girl who liked cigars, let alone anyone who liked cigars there. Morocco isn’t much of a cigar country, as I found out. They don’t exist in most shops either, just as alcohol seems extremely difficult to find there too. Cultural differences.

He had another on him; A Davidoff Grand Cru No. 5, about a half-hour smoke time. Enough time to chat on the back hotel terrace before he had to go for an appointment. He was due back in an hours time and wanted to bring a few more down to the terrace to enjoy during the afternoon. Plans were made to meet by the pool and we did just that a few hours later, spending the remainder of the afternoon sitting by the pool discussing work, politics, religion and all sorts of things, with most of them somehow tying in with the differences between Europe, Africa, and the US.

A salesman from Paris, France, he travels western Africa regularly, with a second home in Senegal. He gave┬áme several tips for visiting Paris, which we hope to do in the next couple of months, and we traded emails so we can meet sometime while there. His english wasn’t the best, but it’s amazing how universal so many things are and how we were still able to keep up a conversation for so long. As much as I hate the “travel” part of travelling, the destinations and people are more than worth it.