Though she has been in Hyderabad for only a month, 23 year-old Mariem Rahmoune would like to stay back as she finds the city of Nawabs friendly and pleasant. “I love the food here, and the people are welcoming,” she quips. Although her native language is French, Mariem finds it easy to communicate with Hyderabadis. The business administration and hotel management student from Marrakesh, Morocco, is in the city to intern with the Aditya Park Hotel in Hyderabad. “Of my six-month stint, a month has passed by in a blink,” says Mariem, who finds the vibrant city overwhelming. Her visit to Hyderabad was planned by the students’ organisation, AIESEC, and has helped her in understanding the culture better.
In the short time she has been here, Mariem has visited the famous Buddha Statue at Hussain Sagar and the Charminar. “Sundays are reserved for a jaunt around Hyderabad and I plan to tour the city later to see other historical monuments,” shares Mariem. As Ramadan is on, she plans to call her friends in the city for a taste of Moroccan cuisine for Iftar. Talking of food, Mariem is looking forward to the Hyderabadi spread on Id as well. “I have heard a lot about haleem in this city and I hope to make the most of it soon.”
Although she loves the city, she feels that the average Indian does not love his country as many people litter the roads and fail to keep their surroundings clean. “In Morocco, there is a good system, where nobody litters or throws garbage on the roads,” observes Mariem. Unlike other visitors who feel they are being taken on a ride by autowallahs, Mariem takes pride in her art of bargaining and says that she never pays a single penny extra. “When I tell them no, they turn back and return after two minutes. In my hometown too everyone bargains a lot as drivers try to fleece passengers a lot,” she laughs ■