Some psychologists say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Some say 66 days.
Well, here are are—398 days into living in Morocco. Almost 400 days.
These are the habits that have been ingrained in our brains. The ones our bodies do before we even register the action in thought. Honestly, we might not have realized these things were even Moroccan habits if it hadn’t been for the reverse culture shock moments we experienced when we visited Washington DC in October and when we visited Paris in December. In 421 days, when we leave Morocco—how long will it take again until these habits are broken?
- Automatically saying “wa alaykum salam” to anyone’s “salam wa alaykum.”
- Greeting people with handshakes and double/triple/quadruple cheek kisses.
- Putting our right hands to our hearts after handshakes.
- Tearing bread by pulling with pointer fingers and thumbs.
- Using bread as a utensil.
- Wearing pajamas outdoors.
- Muttering “inshallah” under our breaths any time anyone says anything about the future.
- Asking for prices instead of looking for prices tags.
- Grabbing the brika (lighter) before doing anything stove-related.
- Turning on the faucet to fill a bucket of water before using the toilet.
- Patting random kids on the head as we walk past them / hugging random children.
- Lifting teapots as high as possible when pouring tea.
- Eating only with our right hands.
- Calling everyone “brother” or “sister.”
- Saying yes to every opportunity.
And the thing is… there are probably a few more habits we could add to this list that wouldn’t even cross our minds until 421 days from now!