On the Road Again

The thing about Fez is that it's built kind of like a bowl.  Staying on the lip of the bowl provides fantastic views of the city and the surrounding mountains....and pretty sore calves the next day from all that uppy a down.  But it's a small price to pay for one of the world's most remarkably preserved medieval cities.

After loading our trunk with woven fabrics and ceramic plates we headed south, back to Casablanca and then further south the next day to Marrakesh.  Marrakesh was its dirty, loud, crazy self and we spent waaaayy to much time in the carpet shop haggling with our friend Mbarek.  There really is nothing in the world like a good haggle.  There is a feeling not unlike "seeing what you can get away with".

He said 400?  Well, I'll see if I can offer 275 and keep everyone smiling....  do I dare offer 200?

There is  a delicate balance between playing the game (which is fun and necessary) and insulting someone.  I never want to leave a shop (again) with bad feelings.  Do I pay a bit more than locals because I'm a westerner?  I sure do.  And you know what?  That is fine with me.  I want to pay a fair price, but that's not the most important thing in the world.  We have returned to the same carpet guy in Marrakesh 4 or 5 times now and are always greeted with warmth and offered fair prices.  Over the long run, it made much more sense not to burn our bridges with shop keepers for an extra 10 bucks.  I might have learned that lesson the hard way...

Our next stop was Essaouira, perhaps our favorite city in Morocco.  We stayed in apartments by the sea and spent a great weekend just wandering before heading back to Casablanca. 

And NOW I'm headed off to the Sahara for the first time - just days before we pack everything we own, not to be seen again for 10 months.  Hopefully I make it back safe and sound and can keep my pack out brain in tact... 


Post a Comment