Monday, November 3, 2008

Fez, Morocco.

Arriving in Fez at night was a little overwhelming at first with all the touts and not knowing the prices for things like a cab ride from the airport to town. Luckily I had the Lonely Planet (My favorite is the Rough Guide by the way.:) ) to help with what to expect. Getting a cab to the Medina (Old Town) was a bit confusing, I kept getting past along a stream of cab drivers. Later I found out why. The old town is farther away than the new town and the rates to and from the airport is a flat 120dm.

So when I got out to pay giving the driver 200dm expecting 80dm back I was short changed. Ah, my first attempt at ripping me off, how sweet. The driver supposedly didn't speak any english and there was a tout who was translating. Basically, the driver said the town was far so it was more and wasn't going to give me any money back, all with a pleasant smile. After a few minutes of talk, I said lets talk to the police then, with a smile of course. Wouldn't you know it, the driver miraculously understood perfectly and gave me my correct change. Unfortunately, he wasn't smiling anymore. Ahhh, sad.

Then the tout took me to my hotel, giving me a full tour of the place. The touts are exactly the same as other countries like Thailand, India, etc. where they get commission for bringing you to a place. Just remember, if they offer to do anything for you, it usually comes with a price. It's how they make their living. Bargaining is also a way of living, even the price of my new haircut, and make sure you always ask for the price of everything. Otherwise you may get the "Special" price.

Fez really reminded me of India, but less polluted and definitely less populated. With that in mind, it's also more expensive with tons of French tourists. French is the second language here with flights from Paris at 20 Euros and again I had to struggle to stretch my 10 words of French, mixing it up with my Spanish at times. English is slowly becoming the next language learned here. 

With just over two weeks to play in Morocco, it just wasn't enough time to adequately see Morocco. I had to decide which places would be the best to visit after Fez by talking with the locals and some of the other travelers. I decided to visit Essourira, maybe Agadir, and Marrakech. 

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