Forks and Jets

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Hello Yes I Am Here

August 18, 2009 Morocco

3 Comments

The goods are plentiful, the prices are cheap and the commotion is legendary. The price is whatever you decide it is, often something around 30% of what you were quoted. You can’t just practice your haggling in Morocco — you have to stage a full-on offensive. And they might call you a berber.

Moroccans shopkeepers move through an emotional set of stages during a pitch, almost exactly equivalent to the 5 stages of grief — only the stages are out of order and they rarely move to the last stage, acceptance. The sellers try to get your attention often repeating hello in every language they know, which is an impressive list.

In the time it takes you to walk past their shop, they will bargain with you, deny your ability to pass up their goods, show their sadness at your lack of interest and often move to anger at you, for entering their country but not buying their poorly-made and overpriced wares. You will walk this gauntlet through the medina, as this is what you have come to see among dark winding streets sprinkled with beautiful mosques and medrasahs.

You can get a free mint tea out of a carpet viewing session if you have mastered haggling, which we attempted, but be ready for the full gamut of grief! We walked out of a session with a free Fez, and no carpet — a victory! Then again, almost any visit to a shop or restaurant can turn into a carpet haggling session.

Comments

  1. Anil says:
    August 19, 2009

    Once you get the hang and routine of it, the bargaining can be fun. Plus you eventually develop the perfected ‘not interested’ face and will be left alone (mostly) when you want to be.

    Reply

  2. Christie @ Fig & Cherry says:
    August 20, 2009

    Having a Lebanese father was really an advantage for me in Morocco! I can go through the 5 stages and haggle with the best of them – beat them at their own game!

    Hubby was another story… :)

    Reply

  3. jen laceda says:
    August 22, 2009

    I really do miss Morocco…

    Reply

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