Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It had been organised for weeks, my fist visitor to Marrakech! All day at work I kept telling my students, “My friend arrives today! I wonder what she is doing? I hope she doesn’t get lost!” When I got off the bus in the afternoon, I walked towards our meeting place. Jodi was there. It was great seeing her again, and after her months of travelling on a around the world ticket, she was also happy to see me.

“We had the best day. We bought carpets!”

“You did what?”

The girls had walked out of my building and turned left. When doing so, there is always the chance that you will run into, quite literally, a jolly, overzealous Moroccan named Abdul. Abdul owns a shop wheeling and dealing in eclectic Berber wares. It is impossible to walk past the shop and not be pulled in. He has given me silver bangles, a Berber necklace, and offered me many other things which I decline for fear of obligation… However, on this occasion the girls weren’t experienced enough to know it is better to walk on the other side of the street. Their inexperience did pay off, however. Abdul was kind enough to offer them a driver for the day to take them to the souqs, camel riding, and to general touristic hotspots. After, the girls were then lured into Abdul’s store, promised a glimpse at the much talked about photos of Abdul with Bill Clinton, Tom Hanks and other celebrities. And before they could say ‘mint tea’, the girls were the proud owners of authentic Moroccan carpets, wrapped in brown paper and ready to be posted back to Australia.
We visited the Ourika valley and had tea at a traditional Berber house.

Jodi and a huge hay stack.

Jodi and myself at enjoying one of the waterfalls in Setti Fatima.

Jodi and Nat with Andy - a tour operator, and friend, working in Marrakech.

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