One thing’s for sure, there are a lot of goats in Morocco. Every morning I wade through a group of them foraging through the stinky Tarazhout public bins, on my way to the car, and this morning I was nearly run over by a group of them galloping down the steep, narrow street outside our apartment (do goats gallop?) as I opened the door, closely followed by a shouting man. But there are even more goats than usual at the moment, and lots of sheep too – there is a distinctive ovine/hircine whiff in the air. Transit vans parked at the side of the road open their back doors and sheep literally fall out, as they are so rammed in (see what I did there?). The owners grab one of their legs to control them as they overspill onto the street.
I found out the reason for the rapidly expanding goat/sheep population. Next Wednesday is a national fete, which is celebrated by each household slaughtering a goat or sheep, skinning it and letting the blood drain into street. Then, as an added bonus for this specific Agadir area, it is tradition for children to wear the skin of the slaughtered goat or sheep and run down the streets asking passers by for one dirham and, if the passer-by refuses, they bash them over the head with one of the hooves. It seems like a very macabre and savage trick-or-treat game.
I am glad I have had warning of this. Imagine if I’d wandered out on Wednesday morning into rivulets of blood, only to be bashed over the head by a strange devil-goat child. I think I might have been rather traumatised (and actually still think I will be, despite the warning)…
Anyway, today is a rare day off and I am really enjoying a lazy breakfast on the beachfront – egg tagine of course, with café noos-noos (the only Arabic I’ve learnt so far – it means ‘half-half’, so you get half milk, half water) and a divine date, avocado and banana smoothie. Off for a surf later, then sunset yoga and an episode of Game of Thrones. Bliss. I’m also finally taking some photos of my new home town, so will bring you an insight into provincial Moroccan life with a touristy-surfer twist soon.