"Dealing with Beggars, Vendors - Advanced Tips" Water Sellers / Beggars / Intrusive People Tip by Andre_Pires

  Jamal el Fna
by Andre_Pires

André's tips to Marrakesh:

DON?T SHOW NERVOUSNESS- even if your knees are shaking.
BE EASY GOING- Moroccans are outgoing people, and most of them well intentioned. Keep that in mind and you?ll see that many times even after declining whatever they?re offering, you?ll be greeted with a ?welcome to morocco?
BE POLITE ? works on every corner of the planet
BE FIRM ? if you are not interested tell it. No one can force you into a deal you are not interested in.
AGREE ON PRICES FIRST- if you start to eat without seeing a list, if you get in a cab without knowing the price, you?ll be majorly ripped-off. Once the price is set they are trustworthy and respect deals. If they don?t, call them on that. ?Business is Business?.
BARGAIN ? it?s the national sport, it can be extremely fun, and the locals will look at you with greater respect and approval. If you don?t get your desired price pretend to leave. They will always call you back with a lower offer.
LEARN THE CANNED PHRASE- there?s a bunch of canned expressions the business men will throw at you upon knowing your provenience. In my case it would be ?Sardinha Assada? and ?Bancarrota? (?grilled sardines? and ?financial crisis?)- you guessed, I?m Portuguese. Throw that phrase at them before they get the chance to say it. That really catches them off guard, and they will let you go with a laugh. Other option might be pretending you?re Portuguese or Greek(even better) all the time?
CARRY SMALL CHANGE ? you?re expected to tip at several occasions. Carrying a wallet with small change makes it less stressfull and confusing
BUBBLE GUM ? or any other type of candy, to offer children when they ask you for money ?that they never get to keep. Nothing like a true smile from street children.
AVOID DARK REMOTE ALLEYS ? no need to explain much on this
AVOID THE SNAKE CHARMERS - if you don't want to get insulted for not giving them 20 euros after taking a pic. I couldn't care less, as i turn around after tipping way less than that
YELABA ? If you or one of your friends is Moroccan-looking enough for it- dress one of this, and pretend to be the guide of the group. It?s guaranteed to keep other business man away, and It?s fun as hell
SALAM ALEKUM ? Greet people that way and be answered back with ?Alekum Salam?. Shows you come in peace

This is my guide on how to save some dirhams and avoid uncomfortable situations while having fun at the Medina of Marrakesh. Adapt it to your personality and you should do good. I took the time to do it after reading so many unjust frightening reviews. I?ll use a roller coaster as metaphor. Some people love them, some people are terrified even to look at them. It doesn?t mean they?re utterly dangerous. Only for the faint of heart ? just like Marrakesh 
So don?t forget, put your best attitude and prepare for the ride, and if your anxiety levels get too high, the Mountains are only 50 km away and if waterfalls and fresh air won?t do it for you either, then nothing will ;)

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  • Written Oct 2, 2011
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