Monday, December 3, 2007

Fes, Morocco and the Carpet Ride

Today we entered quite possibly the largest natural maze on the planet. Fes, Morocco is known for the Medina - an intricate series of narrow cobblestone pathways with hidden gems around every corner. We navigated the tight pathways popping into tiny doorways, sampling Moroccan cuisine, including harira soup and grilled samplers of chicken and liver, some deep fried bean concoction. We shared lunch with an old school 84 year old musician, complete with the square looking cylinder hat (called a fez). The narrow pathways were a constant reminder of seeking true north and navigating the unknown pathways of life.

Of course, any trip to Fes wouldn't be complete without a trip to the magic carpet store. What an experience this was. Mahammed greeted us with kissed and ensured us all the prices were regulated and we would get "best price".

Great! I need a carpet to really complete my pad! So the rolling out of the carpets began. New style, old style, tight weave, special weave, big, small, pattern this, pattern that. So here was the pitch: if you can afford one, buy several and sell them on eBay to cover your cost! Mahammed ensured me he just got an email from someone that sold these very carpets for 16,000 USD! It’s true, really! So I narrowed it down to 3 that were really pretty sweet. First price: 90,000 dhirums. Yes, that's not a typo. That's the equivalent of like $13,000 - yes, he wanted me to pay him $13,000 for 3 carpets.

Of course, I could easily sell one of them for that on eBay. "I guarantee you there is no risk. Do you understand this word risk? You sell on eBay and cover your cost." Mahammed was a bit shocked when I pulled out my blackberry and searched eBay and found one for $200. He then proceeded to offer me $1,600 for my blackberry. "Shock me with your offer... Take this pen... Take it and write down what you pay for those beautiful art work you only find here in this world... Shock me". Okay Mahammed... I did end up offering him $1,000USD for 3 nice carpets, which I was still actually very confused about. What is a Moroccan carpet worth any way? Does anyone have any idea?????(It's not too late, I can still bring you back one. :0)

Mahammed: "I don't understand! What you say me?" Apparently he really was shocked. And turns out he had spent 7 years in New York... Go figure...

“Listen dude, I've had enough of your BS, what do I look like to you? I'm gonna have to turn you into the carpet police,” I was thinking to myself. Ryan had had about enough, too... By the time we left our energy was about gone... Just in time to make the 8:00 bus to Marrakech. We have a 10 hour overnight bus ride to look

1 comment: