Traveltino + [travel]

Hallucinations and Le Shopping in Le Souk

The Marrakech souk by the Jemaa El Fna square is probably one of the world's craziest! Getting lost in its labyrinthine druba (derb-singular; in Arabic meaning dead end street or quarter) is quite a pleasure when you are surrounded by all the razzle-dazzle.

Shopkeepers will wave at you, ask where you're from, and invite you to have a look inside their store. "Just look, just look," is their usual hook. You will be cautious and noncommittal but firm with your dealings with the locals. Some vendors might be a tad pushy, but with an iron smile and a solid "no, merci," you can trudge past them brash peddlers.

But when you find yourself wanting some exotic goods or trinkets, be prepared to engage in a friendly banter. Get to know the vendor. Ask questions. Ask for his store's name. Apparently, I learned that Hassan is a lucky name for a business, or a son, for that matter. I also learned that some shopkeepers will have multiple outposts in different sections of the souk.

The week we were in Marrakech, I went to the souk everyday. I hallucinated about living there, imagining myself to be a character from a Graham Greene or Robert Ludlum international espionage novel. I sat by a roadside café, sipping a cold drink, looking incessantly cool with my white linen caftan and trousers, and a Panama hat with the brim pulled down low. Marrakech is sensational!

Tea Ware
Tea Glasses
Children's Clothing
Rug and Bike
La Port D'Or
Lamps
Red Lamps
More Lamps
Tassels
Spices
Fabric
Paintings
Sacks
Jars
Babouches
Ceramic