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If I had to describe my visit in Marrakech in only one sentence, this would be it: one of the craziest experiences of my life!
What I found out about me during my trip there:
1, I’m not bad at haggling
2, Sometimes it is not so bad if I have to be with a tourist group – if you’ve already read the post about Venice, you know that normally I instantly feel sick of it.
3, I’m incredibly naive. Really.
4, The snake fits me perfectly
The suk in Marrakech is amazing with wonderful merchandise and not too aggressive people. This labyrinth can give the real Arabian feeling for the tourists. Getting lost in the tricky and colourful ways of beautiful carpets, lamps, ceramics and who knows what was absolutely awesome. I was totally amazed by it. People are so kind and not as pushy as people on the beach or at the main square of Marrakech. They allow you to learn about their culture and professions. For example, I learned how to make a hijab, which is a typical headscarf local women wear. Although I’m not sure that I’ll use this skill, but who knows.
The tourist guide told us that he knows a place where everything is cheaper. My friend and I couldn’t wait to buy some scarfs and local dresses. Finally we couldn’t buy a thing there, instead, we were thrown out from the shop by our guide. Nobody expected us to haggle like the worst kind of vendor on the market. We neither, but we did. To be honest the man was right and his prices were truly cheap compared to others and it was only a misunderstanding between us. Our calculation was wrong, but before we realized our mistake, our guide made us leave the shop.
After we got out of the streets of the suk, we found ourselves on the main square. It is one of the craziest places I had ever been. There is everything that you could wish for: a cat, a donkey, a monkey on a chain, snake dancers, and noisy people.
When I saw the snakes at first I became so excited and I couldn’t wait to pet them like a puppy. I loved them! And in this situation, I just found out that I can be so naive, mainly when I’m excited. The vigilant snake charmer noticed from afar that I was bagging to my friend who hates snakes to check them, so he helped me. At first I asked him, how much it would be to take a photo of the snakes and I. He told me – “You can give as much as you think.” Maybe it is obvious to everyone around our wonderful planet, but to me, it was a simple lie. Let me say it as an excuse: I was soooo excited. So I said ok. Never ever do it like this! Although I had some amazing photos with snakes, suddenly the good and exciting experience transformed into a kind of nightmare with a huge pressure on us. While one man was with me and the snakes, another man stepped beside my friend with another snake in his hands and although my friend told him quite obviously that she hates them and didn’t want any of contact, he insisted and suddenly he snatched her mobile phone from her hands. He didn’t want to steal it, but we told him to give it back to her and let us go. He didn’t. I couldn’t do a thing because two snakes were still around my neck and I had to hold one of their heads. Finally, it was over, and then two men surrounded me and they told me it would be 400 Dirham. ‘What??? Only for the photos or I can keep the snakes too?’ I asked ‘For your photos and your friend’s photos’ he replied. ‘My friend hates snakes, and she didn’t want any photos with them.’ We continued it for a while, but finally, one of the guys told us ‘OK, just give us as much as you wish’ although I haggled some, it was too expensive compared to this experience. But the snake was totally awesome.
After we got over the snake guys, we headed back to the market to buy some scarves. While we were on our way there, we met a little tricky child who hid kleenex into the tourists’ pocket, then his parents would come and demand money for it. It was so sad to see that a little child was forced to do such a thing.
In the main square, we found a woman selling scarves. She had almost the same scarves in quality and the price was cheaper than elsewhere, so it is better to look for a woman if you’d like to buy something. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the colour we’d have liked to buy, so we continued our way to the shop. And suddenly I just saw the One! An amazing king blue scarf with silver embroidery. Wonderful! The guy said the price: 80 dirhams. It was not too much but here it is obligatory to haggle. ‘You are the bad boy, I’m the good one’ I said to my friend and we lowered the price for 60 dirhams per each. It could have been even cheaper, but it was also a fair price for this amazing fabric.
Summarizing the day, it was an awesome day in Marrakech. The Jewish quarter and buildings were so stunning, then we visited a herbaria shop, where we met the local spices and herbs and we also learned a lot about their cultures and habits. And we were hardened. Ever so much.