5 Waves A Motorcyclist Can Expect In Morocco

Just make sure not to take it the wrong way

moroccan stop sign
Moroccan stop signOscar Kornyei

The welcoming nature of Morocco is everywhere to be seen, making it an amazing place to adventure on a motorcycle. In the countryside, people by the roadside—from workmen to pedestrians—will often respond to a hand wave with a huge smile and a thumbs-up. Moroccans are extremely friendly towards tourists and seeing a BMW—or any full-size motorcycle—roar past them is something they genuinely enjoy. Most locals only earn about $75 a week—so you might say it’s the equivalent of a western motorcyclist seeing an F-22 Raptor fighter jet thunder past at arm’s reach. Many Moroccans also never leave the remote village in which they’re born—with the only access to their little world being via a dusty goat track—so a wave of recognition is much appreciated. Kids in particular are prone to going crazy for a passerby, and will shout and wave until they go hoarse. Here are the five most common gestures you’ll witness at almost every turn in the countryside:

happy wave
The happy, arms-in-the-air wave.Oscar Kornyei
rev the engine
A wrist bent backward, imploring you to rev the engine. Like we as motorcyclists need a better excuse than that?Oscar Kornyei
wheelie
Both arms raised, to mimic a wheelie. The kids especially are likely to go nuts if you oblige.Oscar Kornyei
high five
Standing by the edge of the road putting a hand out for a high five as you go by is common. I rarely took them up on the offer, not because I didn’t want “five,” but it seemed like teaching a dangerous habit considering they could get clipped by a side case.Oscar Kornyei
middle finger
Giving the middle finger, as though everyone in the world does this for fun.Oscar Kornyei