We started toying with the idea of going to Morocco two weeks ago. One of my friends teared up at the hope of fulfilling her dream to be Jasmine from Aladdin, but when choosing to venture off into a land more unknown than this one in Paris, experience a people we knew little about during a holiday we needed to respect, Ramadan; we realized we were in for a whirlwind. We had a couple of resources here and there who were willing to help us maneuver our adventure to new continent, country and city; safe to say, we booked our flight a week before our departure. Marrakech was nothing and everything like I imagined, a little interesting on the outside but beautiful on the inside. The streets were constantly packed with vendors, watching your every move until they pounced to get you to purchase something, a “Oui, merci” and walking on would sometimes suffice to be able to continue with your day peacefully. However, I did learn a thing or two about Marrakech.
1) The people do not know the meaning of the word “No”. The answer to them is always to bargain or give in (says a girl who helped bring the price of fake Raybans from 18 euros to 6).
2) Whatever you do, do not let the monkey get on you. Even if you don’t take a picture and your friends run away, the owner will still ask for money at the end of the debacle. To his disappointment, and a little anger, I did not have any money on me.
3) Ramadan is an amazing time to experience Marrakech. The moment the call to sundown begins the streets become deserted. Right before this call the people on the street rush with trays of food: grilled fish, freshly baked bread and vegetables galore, one person even asked us if we wanted to break fast with them.
4) It will take several trips to Marrakech to get used to the lifestyle of constantly being aware of your surrounding. It was a struggle to always be alert: making sure to watch my purse so I didn’t get mugged, repeatedly haggle with vendors for better (cheaper) prices and make sure I didn’t get run over by a moped.
All in all though, it was truly an amazing trip. It was an experience of a lifetime, one I never thought I would have the chance to fulfill.
Four down, three to go. (Continents)