Morocco, A Unexpected Shopping Tour of the Fez Medina

Blue Gate Fez Morocco

““Do you like that?” I’ll say in surprise since it doesn’t seem like her type of thing, and she’ll look at me as if I’m mad.  That!?” She’ll say, “No, it’s hideous” “Then why on earth,” I always want to say, “did you walk all the way over there to touch it?”  but of course…I have learned to say nothing when shopping because no matter what you say…  it doesn’t pay, so I say nothing.”  Bill Bryson

But this relief from the hard sell routine didn’t last long because as we walked through the dusty back alleys Hussein suddenly declared that he knew a short cut and knocked on a wooden door with flaking blue paint and rusty red  hinges and as it creaked open and we were invited inside it was obvious that this was not a sudden short cut recollection at all and that we were inside another shop and I was beginning to detect a pattern here and for someone not generally very keen on shops it was not very pleasant discovery because the truth was that we had been duped into a shopping tour! I shared this suspicion with the others and the girls just smirked in a knowing sort of way.

Read the full story…

7 responses to “Morocco, A Unexpected Shopping Tour of the Fez Medina

  1. It is exhausting to be constantly hassled this way, isn’t it? We’ve had this experience in so many countries; but were spared the stress in Morocco because we were visiting our daughter, who speaks Moroccan Arabic. Not surprising, of course, but I really hadn’t realized how much of an effect this pushing and pulling has until it wasn’t there! Great blog!

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    • It’s a real nuisance and a shame because it rules out any sort of browsing in the shops of the souks. There seems to be a collective ethos which is determined to separate tourists from their cash as quickly as they can. There is no understanding that most tourists have a budget and no comprehension of European or western style of shopping.

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  2. Sounds like a truly tiring experience however, I confess to enjoying armchair travelling with your group. Thanks.

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  3. Nothing worst than being pushed into buying stuff you neither need nor want, how exhausting it must have felt. At the end of the day they are the ones who lose. Left to your own devices (strolling, exploring) you might have spent more money. I love the featured picture!

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  4. Reminds me of our trip to Morocco, being herded through the markets into a spice shop and then a carpet shop and harangued. Not fun!

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  5. I probably would have started crying or swearing, or both, if that happened to me. I have quickly learned to hate the high-pressure shopping that exists in so many places. I am still shocked I got out of Turkey without an expensive rug!

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