Scott Hanselman

The Casablanca/Marrakech Photoblog

April 13, 2004 Comment on this post [4] Posted in NDC
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Forgive my sudden switch from Technogeekblog to MassivePhotoblog/Social Commentary, but hey, how often does an Oregonian go to Casablanca?  Depends on who you are, I suppose.

The conference starts today, but already we've:

  • Been stopped by the Police as our Petit Taxis tried to break the rules and leave the city limits.  Quite the adventure.  Fined: Dirham 200
  • Almost mised the train back from Marrakech, as we were 40 Dirham short of a ticket and the ATM had never heard of First Tech Credit Union. :) Fortunately we traded USD with a random guy and RAN to the train as it moved away.
  • Went to Chez Ali (like the Excalibur in Vegas) and saw a Horse show, had Couscous and Lamb and Coca Cola Light! ;)
  • I've learned that being able to read French and being able to speak it is as different as two things can be.  Thank Allah for Mo's six months in Paris, and our Quebecwa friends, Sylvain and Diane.
  • The Arabic I took in college helps me read the signs but is useless in getting around.  I'll post later about the differences in Arabic dialects around this hemisphere.  I'm learning lots (one word at a time!) from Malek.
  • I've learned that 'La, chookran' can get you out of many situations, as can 'où est le petit taxi?'
  • Malek is an incredibly gracious host, and everyone here has been VERY kind.


A disappointed salesman of Coca Cola returns from his new assignment. A friend asked, "Why weren't you successful with the locals?"

The salesman explained, "When I got posted in Morocco, I was very confident that I will make a good sales pitch as Cola is virtually unknown there. But, I had a problem I didn't know to speak Arabic. So, I planned to convey the message through 3 posters...

First poster, a man crawling through the hot desert sand... totally exhausted and panting. Second, the man is drinking our Cola. And third, our man is now totally refreshed. Then these posters were pasted all over the place"

"That should have worked," said the friend.

The salesman replied, "Well, not only did I not speak Arabic, I also didn't realize that they read from right to left..."

Chez Ali...

Folks workin' pretty hard at the airport. 

Sunrises are always nicer at 30,000 feet.

I took this in Madrid, but not before I was admonished by El Al.  Turns out they are Gate B22 and don't take kindly to be photographed.  I won't make that mistake again. :)

Thank goodness we'll have satellite TV. ;)  Gotta have those bare neccesities, a clothesline and 400 channels.

Tiny photos like this can't do the Mosques here justice.  There isn't a wide enough lens to capture the scope and size of this one.  It's immense.  Massive.

Every building here is huge in both height and breadth.  Nothing is done on a small scale.  This is the view from our room in Marrakech.


The Colors here are bright and pervasive.  Everything is bright, upbeat and clear.


The ceiling in the Les Souk a Marrakech were very interesting.  Some were corregated steel, others were braided dried plants.  They worked pretty well for the most part.

 Nous avons trouvé le grand taxi!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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April 13, 2004 19:45
Scott- thank you SO much for these photos.It is inspiring me to want to become a better speaker so I can hopefully go to such incredible places someday.
April 15, 2004 16:32
Now you can add camel jockey to your résumé. You should have brought Rory along, pour aider avec le français and for more creative applications for the camel...
April 16, 2004 22:09
Scott : i attended your presentation about WSE (part 2) and i enjoyed it : Le Maroc est très beau : il suffit d'avoir le temps de le visiter accompagné par un bon ami. Morocco is very beautiful and worth seeing: you need just enough time and a good friend for the road and dunes :o)
April 15, 2005 16:46
Hi Scott,

Nice pictures. We've been to Morocco last year, and I thought it was fabulous. Since I am into digital photography (non-professional), I was amazed by the number of pictures I had when I got home. About 7,5GByte / 2750 pictures. Wow. It was a good decision to bring the laptop!

Have a look here:

Captions are in Dutch, since I travelled with a Dutch group (hey, I AM Dutch). But you'll recognise some of the pictures. There is more (that's not on the website), but I can't seem to find the time to upload them.


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.