THE MIDDLE EAST & EUROPEAN SERIES PT11
It was just another day in hazy Marrakech and the heat was sweltering. For little relief I took refuge underneath one of the so called gazebos used by the many street performers/con men around the main square.
GET THE F**K AWAY FROM ME…
This group of men were offering their worm of a snake to passing tourists and had managed to lure a couple in by the time I was there to watch. The local was straight over with the snake only for the gentleman to refuse until he answered the question,
“How much, how much?”
“Don’t worry about it, we are friends.”
Immediately I knew I was in for a bit of drama, but the gentleman wasn’t stupid and wanted to agree a price before allowing the snake anywhere near him, a man of my own heart! After straight up refusing and insisting on a price, the local said “ok, 20” almost as if it was the first number he could think of. It was clear he wanted to give a quick answer and move onto the next stage.
HAD A FEELING
It was just before lunchtime and the place was rather quiet, and under this gazebo there was 3 men, the couple and myself, quietly observing. I knew waiting around was only going to help the couple whenever the inevitable happens.
I love when conmen target me, I can hold my own and also enjoy turning the tables as much as I can. But the gentleman was wise to agree a price but you can never be too sure what can happen and conmen are known as artists for a reason. I could see they had their sights on this couple, a perfect target, so I wanted to stick around
POUNDS IN MOROCCO
After the snake was on the gentleman’s shoulders for a quick photo and the best part of 20 seconds (or less) he wanted it off and took 20 Dirhams from his pocket handed it to the local, said thanks and turned to walk away.
“NO!” said the local “I said 20 pounds”
Well I burst out laughing and after seeing the confusion on the couples I knew it was my que. The locals had obviously asked where they were from to know which currency they deal in and as £20 is worth more than 20 Dirhams they asked for the former. As I said, they are called artists for a reason.
Being attacked by a man with a snake
“No, you said 20 Dirhams,” I piped up. Which although isn’t necessarily true, they didn’t stipulate £20 either so they were lucky I wasn’t claiming it was 20 Dong.
Immediately after I spoke, one of the locals looked at me as if I had just spat at his mum. He got up, grabbed a snake and went after me. I know I’m safe or maybe just naive as to what could happen but I stood my ground, which was obviously something he didn’t expect. I assume him picking up a snake and darting for me has put others off in the past. But I fancied my chances against an old dehydrated (it was Ramadan) man and a snake.
He had expected the fact he was holding a snake to have me running for my life but I wasn’t letting them get away with sh*t. That was until he took the snake by the tail and whipped the head across my neck which, to be fair to him, took me by surprise but I wasn’t forgetting what was going in the background. I for sure wasn’t going to go head to head but I knew he wasn’t going to either, its broad daylight in the centre of Marrakech. That was clearly the best he had so we exchanged childish verbals for a while until the couple were able to make a quick exit.
- HIGHLIGHT – Getting lost in the labyrinth or alleys and the souk
- LOWLIGHT – The snake men
- VISIT AGAIN – Unlikely Marrakesh
- RATING – 7/10
In the end the couple left having just paid 20 Dirhams which made it all worthwhile, and who says I’m competitive?
Flying up to Portugal to check out Lisbon & Porto, where the idea of doing a blog really gets planted! Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Have you ever been in a situation like this?
- What happened?
- Have you been to Marrakesh, was it a positive experience?
Let me know in the comments below . . .