Plus ça change

In Casablanca last week I was struck by how little had changed since my first visit there in 2003.

Pretty much the same cars on the streets, people wearing the same sorts of clothes, buildings looking pretty much the same – not dirtier, not cleaner.

The only visible improvement is the new airport terminal. I was surprised to see how dirty it has got, though. It’s fast starting to look like the old terminal it complements.

I wasn’t expecting radical change or a swathe of new buildings, a la Dubai. So what was I expecting? I suppose I was assuming that the place would have been spruced up a bit. It was a shame to see the same ancient taxis crunching around and the same traffic problems. The new techno business park looked good though – modern buildings and seemingly plenty of investment.

We visited a customer that I was very glad hadn’t changed. They have a large building, surrounded by well manicured lawns, that was built in 1972 and doesn’t seem to have changed much, with lots of original furniture and art. Quite retro. I realised that I had been there before in 2005 or so with Sun. The French style company restaurant complete with bow-tie wearing waiters seemed to be still in place. Some things can stay the same.

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