Friday, February 27, 2009

Marrakesh: My Arrival

It's 8pm and I'm determined not to get scammed into taking a "free" tour of the city. I defiantly walk through Marrakesh trying to find my hostel. My backpack paints a large red bulls eye on my back and suddenly every kid aged 13-18 wants to help "my friend" (me) find my hostel. After much trial and error, I find out that the only way to escape my assailants is to completely ignore them. Even looking at them adds another few blocks onto their pursuit. In an effort to reach out to me, they try to guess my ethnicity. So far Spanish is in the lead.

While Marrakesh has some main streets, I quickly find out the majority of the city consists of winding alleyways that branch off into multiple other winding alleyways. About 1 in 10 streets are labeled. I think I'm doing well in keeping my sense of direction... that is until I find myself at the exact same spot that the cab dropped me off at an hour and a half ago. Feeling rather defeated, I let Jamal give me a "free" tour. As it turns out finding my hostel involved at least 30 turns through alleyways, and the signage on the front of the hostel left a little to be desired (see below). I no longer feel so bad.

The Riad Amazn's impeccable signage


  1. The constant attention and groups of people following you around is quite a hoot indeed. As I recall people would keep trying different languages. It was quite incredible really. Some guy trying to sell hash went from English to French to Spanish to German to Russian and then I have no idea... I think he might have been speaking the local dialect at that point cursing me for staring at him the whole time with this wide eyed brazenly stupid look.

  2. August: We're following your adventures with interest. When you get back we'll trade stories about travel disasters. When we left Arabia every year on vacation we always wondered if it was going to be another "horror holiday". Annie and her sisters of course never knew how screwed up it all was. Have fun! Bill (Annie;s Dad)

  3. I am living vicariously through your blog! I love this picture :) Say hi to a camel or two for me :)