First Beers in Morocco

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Sunday, August 20, 2006

We decided to take it easy once we got here. 10 hours on an airconditioned bus will do that to you. Our first part of the bus trip was quite boring with loads of brown out the window. Then all of a sudden we were winding our way around the High Atlas mountains and the colours got all pinky and pretty. If the driver had have made 1 wrong move we would have gone over the edge to our gruesome deaths...but he didn't so we got into the city just fine. Right across the road from our bus stop was a bar. We've heard and read all kinds of things about men in Moroccan bars and how the only woman in bars are prostitues or westerners. So me, Ben and Jean Luc popped in for a beer and ended up having five and chatting to some very friendly locals. We even tried our luck with some lima beans and chick peas. Delicious.
We stayed up on a rooftop again, but they wouldn't give us mattresses till 10.30 and seeing that we were a bit tired from all the beer we sprawled out on the floor while we ate kebabs and tried to sleep. The Southern Capital is quite hot compared to the rest of the country so far.
We were right by the famous square - Djemma El Fna (try and say that 10 times fast) which becomes completely crazy ones the sun goes down. It is full of snake charmers, storytellers, amateur boxing that anyone can jump in on, musicians, rows and rows of make-shift restaurants and rows of stalls selling 'freshly' squeezed orange juice. Then you've got the tonnes of people begging with that sad look on their faces as you try to eat without looking at them....Ben bought a little girl some OJ last night and boy was that like attracting flies to a light. Suddenly we were surrounded by beggars.
We've been eating very little, but always something a bit different. Juices are big here: banana, avocado, kiwi, orange etc etc it's pretty nice.
We've mainly wandered about into the craziness. We saw the Saadien Tombs which is where descendants of Mohammed were buried. The tombs are ornately decorated and now house Saadian princes.
The new town has a few modern shops but noteably lacks a real supermarket. The whole time we've been here I have not seen a supermarket. Everyone just buys bits and bobs from street vendors and little hole-in-the-wall stores with things stacked way up high up to the roof.
Marrakesh is pretty crazy, but not too bad. The vendors can be pretty aggressive and no one is really interested in you as a person, but we did have fun meeting other travellers. We even took 6 English girls into the bar by the bus station. Instead of us girls getting hassled - a man took a liking to Jean Luc and was blowing kisses to him and trying to touch him. Then the doorman came up to Ben and told him it was a man's only bar and we should leave. The bartenders wouldn't let us go though. I had been in that bar for 2 nights beforehand and been fine, but I think because there was so many girls at once maybe the patrons freaked a bit. It was still an interesting night.
We tried our hand at bargaining, but honestly Morocco is not the place to get cheap wares. Maybe Asia spoiled us because we found everything at the markets was pretty ridiculous here. More expensive than I would pay at home.
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