I just spent a month in Morocco, in many different cities. I am very puzzled by an experience that I had many, many times - and I’m wondering if anybody can help me understand it.
While travelling, I was communicating in French, English and a decent amount of Darija. But there were communication problems that don’t seem to have been language-based.
I cannot tolerate milk. So in cafes, I would often ask for hot chocolate made with hot water instead of milk.
“Je veux deux tasses du chocolat chaud, sans lait - seulement avec de l’eau chaude et du chocolat. Pas de lait, s’il vous plait.”
“Bgit jooj kas dyal shklat shkoon bla Hlib - gir l’ma shkoon wa shklat.”
In each case, the waiter would repeat what I had said, confirming my order.
However, I was usually brought only one glass, made with milk. Totally wrong! I would have to repeat the order many times to receive what I wanted.
The same thing happened with tea… I sometimes wanted only hot water and mint, no tea or sugar.
“Je veux une théiere avec de l’eau chaude et de la menthe - sans thé et sans sucre.”
“Bgit wahid brrad dyal na’nna’ - bla atay, bla sukur - gir l’ma shkoon bil na’nna’.”
Again, the waiter would confirm my order, repeating it to me.
However, I was often given only green tea, sometimes black tea, often with sugar, sometimes with no mint. Often it was a glass instead of a teapot, like I had specified.
I am very interested in where the communication problem was, in these cases.
My guess is that waiters didn’t understand why I would want these things, so they brought me what they assumed would be a better drink. Does this sound reasonable? Do you have any other explanation for why this communication problem existed?
I’m very intersted in any ideas you have about this.