Saturday, May 27, 2006

Today I decided to head out on my own to see some of the sights of Marrakech. As seems to be typical in Morocco, I was "distracted" by a Moroccan youth. I asked him for direction to the palace that I wanted to see. He told me that it was closed for the noon hour (everything here closes for two hours or so at lunch time.) So he took me to his shop instead (which is actually in my guidebook!) There he showed me many different types of spices, perfumes, and herbal treatments (one he described as "Viagra for women"...) He gave me mint tea and I met his brother who also helps run the store. I ended up buying many spices, some tea, and some cosmetics. Everything that I asked the price of was very inexpensive, but everything that I did not ask the price of was apparently very expensive, because at the end of the day I ended up paying over 70 dollars! (I hope those of you at home REALLY appreciate your gifts! :) hee hee) Here is a picture of me and Mohammed outside of his store.

(photo of me an Mohammad outside of spice shop removed)

I finally found the palais, but, sure enough, it was closed. I wanted to find a café where I could eat and wait for the palaces to open again, and sure enough there was another Moroccan man ready to come to my rescue. Instead of taking me to a café, however, he decided that he would give me a tour of the Jewish Quarter (which I had already seen when the brother of the young man from the apothecary decided to take me on a "tour" which apparently is code for "come shop in my friend's store." When I made it clear that I was not going to buy anything, he left me alone, which of course meant that I had to find my way once again out of the medina. After eating, I decided to come here to the internet café, which again meant that I was dependent upon a stranger for directions. The "guide" got me here, but insisted that he wait for me and then I would go to his shop. When I said I would be two hours, he demanded that I pay him. I only gave him 20 dirhams and then went inside.

The men here are very eager to help, but it is clear they expect something in return! Either money, dinner later, or a visit to their store! I have been told that because I have green eyes and light skin I am considered very "exotic". It has also been suggested that I should get a Moroccan husband! Hee hee... Perhaps I will fabricate an American husband who is waiting for me at whatever place I would like to travel to!


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