Due to my professional occupation, I’ve the occasion to fly to Casablanca several times a year. As I’m definitely into picturing the real life, I couldn’t refrain from getting in the streets and getting a look at real life.
The other Casablanca, streets of ordinary people, no strass & glitter, simply daily life in Morocco’s economic heart. The city suffers from monstrous traffic congestion, reckless driving, thieves that rip your phone away and chaotic construction as the city keeps growing and growing.
Indeed, the contrast between rich & poor sheds a different light on what you see. On one hand a share of the population has succeeded in getting well paid jobs, social welfare & status, while a vast majority still lives on minimum income in shanty towns all across and around the city. The center of Casablanca is wealthy and offers luxurious diners & places where to spend your money while being surrounded by less shiny areas. Police seems to be everywhere but is highly corrupt.
The city leaves a weird impression of a spot that has grown too fast while being riddled with subsidiaries of the french economy. Even the gas stations are french and the city’s buses are old refurbished parisian RATP buses often showing makeshift repairs. It’s hard to find cosy areas, places with ‘normal’ cafés & restaurants like you’d see this in any other city of the world. Here it’s rather glittering top level restaurants (western european style) for affluent people or very low level Snacks where you get junk food.
Sightseeing leads you to the Habbous souk as well as the grand mosque (very impressive) and the royal palace. Casablanca is definitely not the sweet & nice part of Morocco but all about work & business.