Welcome to the souks of Marrakech, the most fascinating place to buy, touch, smell and hear anything you can think of. After 10 days of souk life, I had officially seen and heard it all…
“Hello Jennifer Lopez”
“I give you best price in all of Marrakech, but don’t tell anyone”
“Iphone, Nokia quality”
“My friend. First you drink my tea then we make a deal”
“Rated the best on Trip Advisor”
“Very good spice, number 1 in the whole world”
And my favourite Souk line goes to: “Good food here, guaranteed no diarrhea”.
The Language Of Souk Merchants In Marrakech:
Souk merchants will say anything to get you to buy from them. Selling and negotiating is a way of life in Marrakech. They live for closing sales that they have to work hard for. Don’t be afraid of this. Go with the flow and let all the hustle and bustle sink in. There are so many amazing things worth buying in the souks, so they’re definitely worth exploring. Simply remember my equation for learning the language of the merchants:
“My friend” + “My friend” + “Insert shady sales pitch here”
You’ll walk away smiling and you’ll also have something beautiful to show for it. The worst you can expect is to get ripped off for a few dollars or cents. It may not mean much to you, but to them that money means the world.
‘The Shady Macaron Merchant’:
During my trip to Marrakech, I ran into a man balancing a tray of delicious French macarons. He urges me to take one as a “gift from Morocco”. After rejecting him several times, I finally took a macaron to get him off my back. He sticks out his hand and demands 10 dirham. Not having change on me, I gave him a 20 dirham bill requesting that he gives me 10 back. He takes it, smiles and says, “10 dirham for the macaron and 10 dirham for charity”.
To avoid situations like this, remember to always carry change on you. Especially if you have a hard time calculating on the spot, carrying large bills is a bad idea. Also, don’t be afraid to walk away. You’ll probably feel like you’re being rude, but you’re not, just walk away and don’t look back. As for your overall experience in the souks of Marrakech, relax and enjoy the chaos. If you leave a few dollars short, you’ll leave much richer in stories of experiencing some of the best, the shadiest and the craziest sales pitches and tricks you’ll ever hear and see in your life.
If you’ve been to Marrakech, I’d love to hear your experience with souk life and the crazy things you remember hearing during your adventure!
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