"Sir, very fresh food. Please come. American?"
I looked forward and kept walking through the crowd in Marrakech's central square. If I acknowledged them in anyway, they would leave the security of their shop and follow me for thirty feet or so, carrying on about their products, value and track record. They also tended to hassle a single person less than one walking in pairs so I walked a few strides ahead of Edge, my childhood friend and former roommate in NYC.
"Parlez-vous Francais. English? Very good Tajine. Best in Marrakech."
I kept walking.
The square was pandemonium. Swap out tourists and Moroccans with men and women clad in business casual attire and the scene resembled Bryant Park subway station circa 8:30 am on a Tuesday. The combination of tourists taking photos of snake charmers with iPads and locals getting across town had me confused as to weather I was witnessing a tourist spectacle or a legitimate place of commerce. Giving a group of middle age women walking around with syringes full of what I later learned was henna, a wide birth I kept on bearing towards a group of restaurants. Edge was thirty feet behind me.
A group of men, mostly locals, congregated in a circle. Pausing, I stood on my tiptoes and looked over the four-deep wall of people to see two early teen boys with their shirts off wearing boxing gloves. A referee/booky was collecting bets. I stood and watched while the MC jabbered in a combination of Arabic and French. This would be a twenty minute commitment, I thought to myself, and continued on.
As I approached the line of restaurants, a group of salesmen came out and stopped five feet from their last picnic table as if limited by an invisible, electric fence. My plan was to do a fly by and see which restaurant had the most non-tourist customers and go with that one. Before I could finish, a man in his early thirties wearing a GAP Athletic T-shirt broke rank and came up to me.
"Guaranteed no diarrhea for the last two years. Guarantee. My word."
I burst out laughing and stopped dead in my tracks. "How can you guarantee something like that?"
The man smiled with a look of success. "For you sir, I make very good price."
Regaining my composure, I continued you on towards the last row.
Look behind him.
A brass bathtub.
So many dates.
I've been using Adobe Revel to host and share my photos as part of their Ambassador Program. Take a look at these photos from Morocco and more here.
Edge in Essaouira.
Loc' dog in the Sahara.
A 400 year old Riad in Fes.
4x4's in Eastern Morocco.
"Your days are numbered"
As far as the eye can see. Sand.
OG BMX BIKE!
Reaching the end of the row, I stopped and waited for Edge.
"Did one of those dudes say something about no diarrhea for the last two years?"
"Yah...I died laughing."
"How the fuck do you guarantee that?" I asked, hoping to get an answer for the question that the man from the restaurant left unanswered.
"No clue. Pretty bold claim."
"Certainly. Which one of those spots do you want to eat at?"
Here are some more links,