While there are cars driving down many of the streets in Morocco, riding donkeys, mules and horses (in order of prevalence) is not abnormal. Some animals pull carts, some carry men or boys and others are put to work carrying goods while the owners walk alongside to steer.
For those who get around with a motor, scooters are extremely common and will often be seen carrying entire families, pets or colleagues. These bikes are very dangerous for pedestrians as traffic laws seem not to apply, and I witnessed one crash into a local woman who was crossing the street.
Kashbahs, ksars and riads are common forms of housing with slightly different definitions. The variations were a bit difficult to understand, but from what I gather, a kasbah is a multi-room house (or building or palace), usually for one large family. A ksar is more of a village of houses (multiple families) that are inside a high wall for protection. Riads are like kasbahs but they have a garden in the center, and the rooms are often rented out to guests.
Traditionally, these are all made out of earth – clay, straw, rock – and take on a dull red color. I visited a few of each of these types of housing, and some had tiled floors but others had the same clay-based floor as the walls and ceiling. There was seldom much furniture, and not all of the homes had running water.
A very small percentage of people in Morocco marry for love. Many marriages are arranged by parents as more of a family alliance or agreement. For the younger generations, there is a split between seeing this type of arrangement as tradition to embrace and wanting to be in control of finding a mate for love. I heard a story from someone on my trip of a Moroccan man leaving his country and family for Europe so he could find his own wife out of love – whereas his younger sister stayed in Morocco and expects her marriage to be arranged and wouldn’t leave with her brother.
Additionally, in Morocco it is allowed by law for men to have more than one wife (as long as the first wife gives her consent!).
And finally, if a man from one village wants to propose marriage to a woman from another village, his entire family needs to go to the woman’s village with offerings such as sugar, tea and an animal as part of his proposal. While this tradition clearly represents that he and his family have the means to take care of his bride, it is pretty interesting that it still exists and hasn’t been modernized over the years.