blushed out in red....at dinner
I studied the guide book all the way to Marrakech. Learned what rates I should pay for taxis and all. Upon arriving I was quickly greeted by airport Kitty, very small, but cute at the ATM. Another Kitty place.
So first experience the taxi. I had read in the guidebook that it should cost around 100 dirhams to get a ride into town. Well I was ½ between town and the airport so I am thinking 60 dirhams. The taxi drivers are all just standing around when you walk out of the airport and the haggling begins. We started at 15 Euro (or 170 dirhams).
I say 60 dirhams. They all look at me like I am crazy and I explain the hotel told me it would only be 60 because it is close not even 5 minutes away. Finally we get down the 80 dirhams and I agree. Well we get to the car (yuck and smelly) and after handing him 100 (of course just went to the ATM that is the smallest bill I have) he pockets it and wont give me change. Have to pay in full first. I demand change and he looks hurt. But you know we agreed on a rate and I can walk back to the other 50 taxis and start over again. So he gives me 10 back and runs and gets in the car. I stand there wanting the other 10, he finally caves and gives it to me. So almost to the hotel he starts ranting about something, I know he is basically asking for more money so I just say I don’t understand.
I was worried he was not going to stop until I gave him more money, but finally at the hotel, he then tried again by not giving me my bag, but you get so annoyed by the pressure that I stayed firm, it is the principle. The pay in advance thing really screws them, after all that hassle I was not going to tip, but if I had paid in the end I probably would have to just be done with it. They get you all worked up and then you feel bad, what we were haggling over 2-3 bucks maybe….just not worth it.
some of the building around the dinner place.
I checked in, huge hotel/resort and really nice room. Down to the concierge I went to make sure all my days got booked up…..and so went all my cash that I had just got from the ATM, pay in advance for everything and in cash.
A van picked me up for dinner, there were already a few Spaniards in there and we went around to a few more hotels and picked some more folks up.
I really had no idea where I was going, was just booked into some dinner show. As we pulled up to Chez Ali there must have been 50 other vans and 25 tour buses already there. Men in custom on horses lined the entrance and apparently we were going to see Fantasia. Overwhelming is all I can say about walking into the place. There were dancers, singers, musicians all lining the way as you were rushed to your tent to eat in. I sat with the other 4 English speakers (2 Brits, 1 Palestinian and 1 Portuguese) so it was a diverse table and yes all 4 smoked there arses off through every course, yeah! We had good food- 4 courses (soup, lamb, couscous and chicken and desert) and all the while people coming in and out singing, dancing (kind of) and playing music. After dinner we were taken outside to see the horse show that ended in fireworks. Very big extravaganza!