In the middle east, going for a drink is more likely to be coffee than a beer, if you are meeting up with a friend.
In most of the Arabic world, they have their own style of coffee, espresso sized, strong with cadomine flavouring. You also have Turkish coffee, also strong, but large amount of sendiment, means you need to leave the last 5mm or so in your cup.
In Israel coffee shops are all over the place (even the throw away cups I have seen with a symbol of a possible place that Jesus visited!)
However in Morocco, tea is the national drink here, just like India and China.
Its actually normally served with mint and plenty of sugar. It often has the slang name “Moroccan Whiskey” being a similar colour 🙂 its common to see someone delivering a bundle of fresh mint leaves to cafes.
Its custom to offer this beverage before any kind of business is done. Often you may get offered some whilst in a shop, because the owner hopes you are going to plonk down a decent amount of cash for something or he is just being purely hospitable.
The tea salons seem to be a common social place for men, people chat, smoke, read the paper and watch the news (Al Jazeera) on television. Its rare you see females in these places, they are more like a working man’s bar of some sort. They are different from the other types of cafes, they feel like a very manly sort of place, where chaps of all types come to get away from the worries of work or the missus.
I was sitting in a tea salon when everyone stood up. When I stood up as well to see what spectacle was happening. Its was a small Renault ambulance converted van driving slowly with the rear doors open, a lot of men walking behind which was part of a funeral procession. Its good to see the people in here have respect for those in community who have passed on. I noticed all the people in the funeral procession are entirely men, just like a similar event that I saw in Akko, Israel a few years ago.
People sell mint along with other herbs at random points of the main road also too.
There’s only one thing I really don’t like about these establishments, I’ll explain tomorrow.
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