6 Tips for Surviving the Transportation in Morocco: Taking Rabat’s Tram at Rush Hour
The first time I rode Rabat’s tram during rush hour, I learned the true meaning of the phrase “packed like a can of sardines.” Just when you think the tram can’t possibly hold any more people because its sides are practically bursting, another five people will somehow manage to squeeze through the door into your car. The rush hour tram is an interesting experience to say the least, and there are several crucial tactics to keep yourself from a) being late because you can’t get on and b) being crushed by the overwhelming amount of humanity on all sides of you.
1. Stand as close to the edge of the platform as you can get without getting hit by the tram. This will give you prime access to the tram doors.
2. When the doors open, wait a second because chances are there are people trying to extract themselves from the tram, which will provide you with more room.
3. At your first opportunity, force your way through the doors. You have to keep pushing and most likely you will be able to squeeze your way on.
4. Wear as few layers as possible, which means that that cute wool pea coat you have is an absolute no-no unless you would like to die of heatstroke on your morning commute.
5. As the tram is very crowded, it is a prime location for pickpocketing so be sure to have your valuables in zipped pockets or deep in your bag.
6. Whatever you do, don’t assume that just because the tram is so packed that you barely have enough room to exhale that the ticket guy won’t attempt to check that you’ve validated your ticket/tram card. He will squeeze through (don’t ask me how), he will ask to see your ticket, and he won’t accept any excuses for not having swiped it when you got on the tram. Luckily, your fellow commuters will be happy to pass your ticket to the person nearest the machine so that you can validate it.
When all is said and done, you will get there eventually inshallah (God willing) so try to have a sense of humor and not to stress too much, because that certainly is not going to make the tram ride any better. Stick to these six rules and you will survive your morning commute relatively unscathed!