Marrakech-Medina
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Carpet Shopping in Marrakech
“Get out. Go. I won’t sell to you,” cried the shopkeeper, waving his hands. I exited, down the steps. Twice. Each time, the man ran after me, entreating: “Come back, come back.” After two hours, I owned a 2’x3’ Berber carpet. For a student traveling on a severely restricted budget, the $75 price was rich. Some years later, I returned to Marrakech. I knew I would buy another carpet, as the one I previously purchased had been stolen. Did the shop still exist? Could I find it? Wandering Souk Semmarine, I spot something familiar: concrete steps leading up into a shop, the only one with steps. My heart pounds with excitement as I recount my story, in French, to the owner of Aux Merveilles de Marrakech. Throwing his head back with a laugh, Saïd exclaims: “Oh, that was grandfather! We don’t do business like that any more. Everybody friend. Big discount.” Perusing the copious stacks of woven art, my wife and I pull several aside. “How much?" Grimacing solemnly at Saïd’s reply, I declare in carefully rehearsed Arabic: “Your carpets are very expensive.” “Big discount for friends. Hillary Clinton bought here,” retorts Saïd, and the haggling continues. In Morocco, it is customary to conduct business over mint tea. My wife protests, leery of drinking local water. Saïd claps his hands. A helper rushes out of the shop, returning with bottled water. Impasse resolved. We are soon drinking tea, and complete our purchase of four exquisite tribal carpets.
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Psychological Testing: How to Deal With the Medina Hustling in 4 Funny {and Serious} Ways
On to my 9th city in Morocco, I finally arrived the hot and touristy Marrakesh! I was tested right away the night I arrived the city. While I was looking like an idiot carrying my big bags, a man in the Medina grabbed me and said, “Konichiwa!” Dude, seriously, you cannot do that in Asia. Francisco comes to the rescue. “You know what, in Asia, it’s very rude to do that to women. Please respect your cultural differences.” I wasn’t offended because I know the he meant well. I think the Moroccans just don’t know how to send their message in an acceptable manner that’s why foreigners always reject them. The man then replied, “bad tourists.” Okay, if you say so. I have been here for 7 weeks and I can say that I pretty much did a great job in dealing with these people. Here in Marrakesh, I’ve seen a lot of foreigner still falling for the trap so I made a decision to share how I do it. Most of the time, I overhear their conversations and man, they are really being ripped off! I can’t believe they don’t fight back. If you travel to Morocco and a hustler offers help, always remember that you are a traveler and that, you do not need assistance. You can find your way, right? I have tried many ways on how to approach these people with respect and without leading to any arguments. Here are the things that work {most of the time.} Continue reading: http://trishavelarmino.com/2013/08/14/psychological-testing-how-to-deal-with-the-medina-hustling-in-4-funny-and-serious-ways/
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