Shopping in a foreign country is fun for me. Mail order and Zappos.com is how I roll in The States. But whilst traveling I enjoy the game of it all; the bargaining, the connection made with the shop owner. I realize I don’t always get the best deal in certain places but for me, who cares! I usually know what I’m willing to pay and I stand my ground until I get it for the most part. Of course there are always those who might think I didn’t get a good deal but I know I did. Why? Because I had fun doing it and have a story associated with the item purchased that I am reminded of for years to come. Such is the case with the shopping stop we made in Ouarzazate on our way through the Atlas Mountains. Mokhtar brought us to a shop that had a beautiful display of all sorts of stuff from Berber communities through the years – – a museum of sorts. This was the first “museum” we visited but we realized this is the first step to ‘hooking’ the tourist in to make purchases. The “museum” room is in the front and then each room thereafter brings you deeper and deeper in to the lair of the shop. This one happened to have a gorgeous display of jewelry, rugs, and various pieces of furniture and vases. Gorgeous stuff, really, and something I never saw the likes of later in the trip.
I immediately spotted a jewelry box that knew was going to mine, then a red mascara box w a mirror, then a vintage green vase. And of course a few pieces of jewelry. That’s when a young man approached me and said he could show me some “special things just like [I was] looking at” but they were upstairs. Away. From. The. Others. I went. I mean, when in Morocco, as they say. I was just upstairs so felt safe enough. It was there, on that gorgeous terrace upstairs, inside a Berber tent that I learned from this zit-faced, sweet-eyed boy how beautiful I am and how he can make me happy for my whole life and that we should communicate through email (he has a Yahoo! account just like me!) so he can show me…etcetera, etcetera. Oh, and one more thing. He asked that I not tell anyone in my tour group and especially not his brother whom I was in the beginnings of haggling prices with. “Okay,” I promised. Ha. I immediately told the group. My first blatant experience such as the kind of things I was warned about regarding Morocco and its men.
Haggling was a blast with this guy (mi amour’s brother). He was quite the sales person! His first price was majorly inflated and that started us off and running. We laughed the whole time. When he asked me my name and added an ‘ey’ sound to the end I laughed and said, “Okay! Here we go!” it was all in good fun with lots of whispering, laughing, and sighing. Finally I got my price. But before that, he made a declarative price statement and slapped the palm of my hand as though he was saying, ‘there, that’s the deal and we’re done.’ Well, we weren’t finished yet and and after I countered the price and gave him a slap on the palm of his hand, he gave me my deal – – and asked me to marry him! We took photos together and said good-bye as he continued promising how he could make me happy…next time. Adorable and so much fun!