A few days ago I came back from Morocco. I could hardly wait for an opportunity to sit and write about my incredible adventures. My head was full of sun and sand from the desert, my camera flooding with pictures. Unfortunately, a nasty cold, which was lurking around for some time, decided to strike and put me into bed for a few days. I did not feel like writing, working nor doing anything really. Luckily, the cold is almost gone now, and I feel strong enough to finally look through my pictures and write all about my five days in Morocco!
I have visited Africa few years back, in 2011. Marcin and I went for two weeks holidays in Tunisia. The locals were trying to trick us out of money all the time. They were demanding, treating us like walking purses, lying to us constantly, and taking us to their shops, trying to charge us for anything – even for showing us where the toilets are in the shopping centre! I truly had enough of Africa for some time. So when my sister asked me if I wanted to go with them to Marrakech, I was not quite sure if I am up for another round of people telling me I must buy something at their cousins shop, which apparently she just opened and she is the only one who sells genuine goods.
Luckily, with Marrakesh, the story was completely different. No one was trying to break my personal space; no one was trying to make me buy something I did not want to. If I wanted to look at the goods, browse only, and take a picture – no one had a problem with that. If I wanted to buy – the people were even nicer. They loved when we haggled with them, and their patience was never ending. They would run to the next shop just to make sure that we do not leave their shop without what we came here for. They would make sure we were happy with what we were buying and with the price we were negotiating. Of course, they would never ever sell us a thing if the price we agreed to pay was not covering their expanses, which is far enough. After all this is their livelihood.
Just walking through incredible souks was a different kind of adventure. The colours of fabrics on displays created rainbows you could admire every few steps. You could easily get lost between the mountains of dried fruit and spices, richly decorated lamps and small bags hanging in the air. The Jemaa El Fna Square, sleepy during the day, bursts into life at night. Thousands of stalls offering food, snake whisperers and locals, playing on the instruments, filled the square in. The slowly approaching night brought even more activities. Now all the women offering henna tattoos took their places, displaying pictures of incredible drawings. More people were gathering together, listening to the stories and enjoying each others company. The smell from the food stalls filled the air and our stomachs rumbled with hunger. We could not resist trying local food any longer, so we chose one of the stalls and were served with a speed of a light.
I loved the souks of Marrakesh! I enjoyed walking through the stalls, looking at the items on display, feeling free, with no obligation to buy anything. The people surprised me so positively after my Tunisia adventure that I felt I could go back here for more. My aversion to Africa cured.