Tangier Typical Tourist
Trip Start Mar 20, 2008
20Trip End Mar 30, 2008
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Luckily Friday is their Sabbath and we didn't find it crowded. Many of the merchant stalls were closed in the Kasbah, but as day progresses, more shops open. The cafes along the French section, the Italian section, and the old town squares - Grand Socco/ Petit Socco get busy. I don't take as many pictures in the Medinah/Kasbah as I'm aware we stand out BIG TIME
Abdul takes us to the Anglican cemetary (yes...Abdul..we know, Christianity tolerance). Interesting to see Brit graves from wars going back centuries. We go through the various food markets winding through the Kasbah. My favorite. Mounds of beautiful vegetables, exotic spices, confections, flowers, and prepared foods. The butcher stalls have in-your-face displays of their animals hanging. KTs favorite. On top of being vegetarian, this is where dozens of cats are roaming (she's allergic). We see the Kasbah museum and visit the American Legation or old embassy from days of the Barbary Pirate Wars (...in Marine Corp hymn "shores of Tripoli") We miss some entry times as we wander a bit too much, but the girls aren't interested in exhibits.
We enter one VERY well groomed bazaar and are introduced to "Abdel" from the American school. This only means he learned english at the American school and I'm suspicious that Abdul is leading us to a commission hotbed and Abdel is set-up. He has beautiful stuff and 3 floors of carpets, woven goods, artisan craft, clothing. We find things everyone wants, but then the prices.....OUCH
Children playing soccer in streets and bands of roving teenagers show up by late in the day. The girls are turning heads. I'm walking well behind them and its fun to watch. One approx 16 yo boy walks into me with his head fully turned at KT as I'm filming. All day....we see only one group of 3 college age Americans. We do end up finding the same things Abdel was selling in stores at half his price. Business must be bad with no Western tourists. One poor guy's hands are actually shaking as I pay him 40 e for 4 leather & metal decorative lanterns, silver/stone rings, bracelets, & stoneware. Even after I bargained him down, I'm sure its too much but feel sorry for him.
Abdul buys us things as we walk along. We go down a narrow street that specializes in Moroccan wedding merchants and he handpicks from a display an assortment of incredibly delectable nut-based filled and rolled cookies. Tells us they are a gift from his wife Nehza. He finally gets the girls to take water or Cokes..inspecting the bottles and refusing one that looks too dusty. The girls have come to trust him.
After a few turns back into the Kasbah, we buy some keepsakes, mail a postcard and find our Minibus sitting at the end of the old fort wall. Tired and hungry, we head to Dar Nilam for some rest before dinner. I pay Abdul and he confirms they'll come pick us up the next day for trip to Port ....all included in price. Nice.
I think through our day and realize we just did all the things listed in the travel guides as arranged tours....typical tourists. But we did it at our pace and privately.