Shawl haggling and taxi bargaining in the Red city
Trip Start Dec 28, 2009
7Trip End Jan 19, 2010
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After 8+ hour ride we finally arrived in Marrakech, the Red city. It all starts a bit intense as a cab driver gets so upset for us not accepting his price that he spits me in the face. But nothing will come inbetween me and my cab ride (at the right price of course), so with our excellent bargaining skills, we managed to get to our final destination for a fifth of what Mr Spitball wanted.
Snakesharmers, story tellers, musicians, sandal vendors, orange juice squeezers, nut vendors and henna painters
The escape; a cafe latte on a roof top cafe overlooking the whole circus from a safe distance. And up there I can relax. I look around and can admire the beauty of the city as the sun sets, and paints all the walls red. The clouds shifting colors from yellow to pink to purple. We watch underdressed Europeans getting their picture taken with the water bearers and later charged an arm and a leg for it, Japanese girls giggling while paying way too much for leather bags, big cameras around their necks. Men gathering around a storyteller watching the spectacle intensely like little boys and last but not least; the food stalls firing up their grills for some excellent kebabs.
The night ends with yet another cup of mint tea at the hostal after some good bargaining at the shawl stalls and some delicious grilled meat, marinated olives and tomatoes salads for a few dollars
The following day the maze of the Medina leads us to the old slave market; now called Souk Zrabia. Until 1912 young slaves from Mali were taken here and sold for £3-150. Today colorful rugs and carpets are items up for sale and it is a pretty calm place aways from the busy Djemaa el Fna. Here you will also find apothecary stalls with its spices, perfumes, dead and living animals and much, much more. It is here between snake skins and argon oil soaps we meet Zach.
Zach has family in the States and speaks very good English. He looks quite werstern with his t-shirt; jeans and baseboll hat. A friendly round face with dimples. He shows us around his uncles shop, takes us up to his other uncles roof terrace so that I can take some pictures and later invites us for tea accompanied with some very oliy and sweet pasteries that would make my dentist cry.
It is in this moment as I take another sip of my delicious tea, looking out over the square where women are selling second hand clothing, chatting quietly among eachother, that I feel like I finally can relax in the company of Moroccans. This is just a simple gesture from a curious young man who is sharing his afternoon tea with us, without wanting something in return.
Strolling back trough the city we indulge in some fabulous pastries from the local Patisserie reminding ourselves of how lucky we are that get to travel and explore this beautiful world. This is just one of those night... ce la vie