I have spent my first 24 hours in Marrakech ducking & diving snakes, donkeys, motorbikes, monkeys, hecklers & a guy selling weigh ins in the street….
What a vibrant city! The hustle & bustle in the main square is intense! The people are so friendly & warm – although we are quite hesitant as some expect money for directions, pictures & things they initially offer as gifts. I like to see a price tag before I agree to anything & not be pestered for money when it’s too late. I don’t enjoy being hoodwinked. The same goes for being overcharged for things & not being given enough change back. That 10 dirhams you shortchanged me with will be bitterly held against you. Maybe I’m being too mean & the stallholders are just terrible at maths. I just particularly dislike being treated like a fool.
The heckling is incessant. Even with sunglasses & earphones I still get pestered. Being the palest, blondest little lady in Marrakech I guess I have brought this upon myself…. Hopefully it will give me a bit of self esteem & wipe out years of self doubt, personal hatred & shortcomings? Too deep???? Sorry…
The medina is a maze. I am quite smug that I was able to find my hostel quickly & all by myself! I pride myself on my excellent sense of direction. Maybe in a previous life I was one of the people who led holidaymakers to their desired location for a few dirhams? The souks are incredible. There is so much stuff & so many winding paths. Today I let myself wander without my internal gps & it was a delight. Shopkeepers are so enthusiastic to get you into their shop & talk to you about their products & offer you tea. We wandered through the various souk districts & stumbled upon a queue of locals in a busy tagine eatery. We joined in & had the most delicious chicken, butter bean & bread meal. I want to go back! I’m also going back to the spice souk to stock up on spices & mint tea – amazing!
It is so cold here! Myself & most travellers I meet are surprised at how cold it is at night & in the mornings. My hostel has no central common area roof & no heating. I am currently in bed with a hat, thick scarf, jumper & 2 blankets & I’m still cold. People keep asking me if I’m warm because I look so wrapped up & snug but no. I am a wimp when it comes to being cold. Hence, I am not envious of the people going to the Sahara to camp overnight in minus degrees. If Glastonbury has taught me anything, it’s that I am a miserable camper & want to die when I get too cold. My temperature seriously affects my happiness! I know I will most likely regret missing out on the Sahara (this time around) but I do hold on to my memories of misery & I don’t need any more.
Tomorrow I shall be getting my nudity on & visiting a hammam. I expect to lose a stone in shredded, shed skin! I also expect to regret moreso my lack of razor – my haphazard packing *sigh*