Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Yet more Essaouira Essaouira, Morocco, Thursday, 15 January 2009 9:45pm

I'm going to have to be satisfied with seeing the Purple Islands from the shore, I think. It was windy this morning, and raining all afternoon, so the tour boat stayed docked.

Instead, I spent the day spending money. I ended up picking up a couple carpets. One may well be the most boring carpet in Morocco. Black. But I like it. The other one is a kilim, black and white (with little bits of red), and organized into bands of different geometric patterns. It took about an hour of wandering around to find one that didn't include saffron yellow as a major color.

The guy from the first shop I tried escorted me from shop to shop, eventually getting a closed shop to open up for me. They ended up being the ones with the carpet I liked best. I tipped the guy for getting the shop to open for me, even though I assume he also got a cut for bringing me into the shop.

Since the first shop was the closest one to my riad, I've walked past him several times. When I passed before dinner, he insisted on shaking my hand and telling me that I got a very "democratic" price on the carpet, and that for most tourists the price would have been about twice as high (I ended up paying just under 1/3 of the initial asking price). I wonder if that means I'm getting better at this whole haggling thing.

I have a ticket for a bus to El-Jadida at 7:45am tomorrow, and a reservation for a Hostal in Madrid on Saturday. If it all goes as planned, I've got a lot of traveling coming up.