Wednesday, March 3, 2010

„The answer to life, Universe and everything“ (link)

There is nothing better than big ripe oranges squeezed into a fresh invigorating juice in front of your very eyes. During those weeks i’ve spent in Marrakech, i’ve practically lived off that stuff. Djemaa el-Fna square is full of vendors selling that juicy goodness. A glass of orange juice (about 250ml) costs 3DH (less than 5 EEK). At first i was going to random vendors and bought the juice by glasses, but then i started buying my juice to-go, into an empty 0,5l water bottle. This is when the troubles started. Some vendors charge you for 2 glasses, but some claim that one bottle is 3 or even 4 glasses. It’s not really a big financial loss, it’s more a matter of principle – i don’t like to get blatantly ripped off, no matter how small the sums are. And if it happens about 3 times a day, i get cranky.

One day i went to a random vendor again (cart number 40) and though i know that one small plastic bottle of juice costs 6DH, you have to confirm the price beforehand anyway, or later it might be up for a lively discussion. So i showed him the bottle and asked how much. He looked at me, sized me up for a second and then said 12DH (twice the normal price). I blinked and then bursted into laughing, which made him very pissed and he started cursing at me. I walked straight to the next vendor who having witnessed our little price disagreement with the previous guy, was more than happy to fill my bottle for 6DH + give me a half a glass for free. All this time the other vendor was still screaming and cursing at me in Arabic. So this is how i found „my“ juice guy (cart number 42) and to save my energy i only go to him now. Abdul gives me freshly squeezed juice, not the one diluted with ice and water, plus a complimentary half a glass for free to drink while he’s preparing my bottle. No hassle, no trouble. Every time i go to him i have to pass the vendor number 40, who somehow still remembers me and usually is still cursing at me. One of my Moroccan friends once translated what he was saying and it was something in the lines of: „curseword! curseword! curseword! i’m the first in line, you have to come to me first! curseword! curseword!“ Lately he has learned some English words and few times when i’ve passed him, he points at me with a finger and says with his creepiest voice: „You!“. Recently i walked by him again to get my juice and he smiled his crooked smile and squeeked „I love you!“. Talk about progressive marketing! :) Ha-ha!

Kaidi posing with an orange juice vendor on Djemaa el-Fna, October 2008


  1. Please excuse my use of this space to ask a question (I could not figure out how to email you directly). I was wondering if you would recommend a single 44 year old woman traveling to Morocco alone on her first solo gig. (Also considering s india, but concerned with the timing) I would be traveling in late April/May or May/June.

    Thanks for any comments,
    Jennifer at

  2. If there's a question of which one to choose for a single female traveler - Morocco or India, then i think Morocco wins hands down. I've been to India and although i was there with 3 other guys, i still got touched, groped, gawked at and massively harassed in all possible ways. Don't get me wrong, i would love to return one day, it was an intriguing country, but i would definitely not go alone. I consider myself a pretty savvy traveler and i can handle plenty, but India has a way of making a girl feel like a piece of meat and i really didn't enjoy that.

    I think Morocco is a very good choice and as long as you behave respectfully you will not have any problems.

    I wrote you a longer email privately;


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