Essaouira is an oasis, especially when you come straight from Marrakech. It feels like you’re on a Greek island. White houses, blue doors, colorful mosaiques, cute alleys, olives, pomegranates, fish and a very easy going pace.
And then you arrive at your hostel, The Atlantic Backpackers Woodstock. More than a hostel it’s like a shelter, a ghetto, a four story high palace. You can see the remains of what was once a beautiful palace: pillars, arches, mosaiques and one of the highest rooftops of Essaouira.
But the decay gives an authentic look. It’s like a group of stoned backpackers simply walked in and claimed it. There is still a king present in the palace. His name: Chef Couscous. King, joker, knight and chef all in one. He is dancing, cooking, yelling, playing drums, cracking dad jokes.
He sees me writing this all down and comes near me.
“Hey man, I want to watch Real Madrid tonight, can I use your laptop?”
“Sure. But the internet is really slow.”
“Yes! Because all these kids are on Facebook.” He thinks for a bit. “I have an idea.” He whispers in my ear that he will change the Wifi password! Then burst out in joyful laughter, still in my ear.
A couple of minutes later we are enjoying a good old Madrid – Dortmund. We hear more and more confused girls whining to each other that the internet is out. Out of boredom they start talking to each other or start reading a book. They have no idea what else to do. Chef Couscous and I don’t care. We are a set for the night.
Oh, and by the time you arrive in Essaouira, you might be sick of Tajines. Good news. They serve great bean dishes here and pastellas.