15 March 2011

"I want to make pleasure for you for 200 durham!"- Tea set salesman

This is a little out-dated, yesyesyesyesIknowIknowIknow. I went to Marrakech, Morocco on a long weekend a while ago. On the way there, I could simultaneously see the outline of Spain, and the African continent, at the same time from the plane window, which was superchulo. ("Chulo" means something like "neat-o".)

The first thing I felt after exiting the airport was the SUN. Oh, holy baby jesus, I felt like I had been submerged in a warm, invisible bathtub, with invisible, dry water. Um. Well, something like that. It was pleasant, is what I'm trying to get across. My mother's words of "TRUST NO ONE" rang in my ears as I apprehensively got in the front seat of a taxi. (No seat belt to be found, oh well.) We were dropped off on a dusty, bustling street, entirely disoriented, and were immediately fucked over by a stranger who led us to our hostel without us asking and then charged us 20 euro. As we navigated the winding labyrinth of the zoco (the market), I wondered if I had been transported into Disney's animated feature Aladdin without giving my consent. Riff raff! Street rat!

We got much better deals in the market if we bargained in Spanish, except when they could see through our godawful accents and spoke to us in English and we were forced to resign our efforts. The salesmen like to make you feel special so that you buy their shit, and my favorite was the man who said things like, "Just for you, today! 200 durham. You a student, I know, not much money, I want to give you deal. You like this? This one? Yes, only 200 durham. I want to make pleasure for you for 200 durham."

During our time in Morocco, my travel-mates and I went on an excursion to the Ourika Valley of the Atlas Mountains, and on the way, we stopped for a camel ride. During this ride, the camel behind me began to chew on the strings of my recently-purchased backpack...made of camel-leather. In addition to this action being cannibalistic, I had to (much to my displeasure) physically remove my bag from the camel's mouth. It was dripping wet with drool for hours. I rode in fear for the remainder of the ride. If it went for my hair, I would surely die.

Speaking of hair, I discovered immediately that being a blonde (yes, fine, I admit it, I'm blonde) woman is not something I can discreetly get away with in Morocco. We ventured to the smoky, lively, color-and-sound-filled plaza for dinner and I was greeted as "Shakira" constantly. It's the hair. Shakira would be ashamed if she knew people were comparing us.

I think words would be lost if I tried to explain everything we did or saw, so look at some pictures instead:

Market by night
Travel-mates
Atlas Mountains en el fondo
Palace ruins

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