Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Mad dogs and Englishmen...

Go out in the midday sun!

Marrakech has to be one of the most wonderful, extraordinary places I have ever visited.

We stayed at the beautiful Riad Akka...

Please note appropriate reading material 

Ate breakfast on the Riad's roof terrace...

Saw all the sights...

The Koutoubia

The Bahia Palace

Saadian tombs

And dinner at a selection of great restaurants- the v.Euro Euro darling cafe Arabe for the sunset...

Dar Essalem, a restaurant in a 17th century mansion, to follow in the footsteps of Doris Day and James Bond...

Where we giggled as a delightful old chap in red trousers was transfixed by a wobbly belly dancer - no photo, but oh - the look on his face!

And Riad Monceau for the birthday treat of a dear friend - Nick Mead, scourge of the Souk.

We did lots of shopping, naturally, as I was visiting with a superb negotiator...

Buying Berber jewellery

Shopping in Marrakech with Nick Mead was one of the most amusing things I have ever done.  It was even funnier to translate backwards and forwards - here are some choice snippets:

At the Maison de Kaftan Marocain
(Shopkeeper, gazing dreamily at me clad in a wizardy robe)
"Monsieur, your wife is beautiful.  She is like a gazelle.  If I had a wife as beautiful as yours, I would not just buy her this [overpriced jelaba]; I would buy her all [gesturing expansively at the entirety at Maison du Kaftan Marocain] this and more."

...some negotiation...

(Nick to shopkeeper, very firmly)
"I'm afraid this (1/5 of price quoted) is my final price."

(Shopkeeper to me, looking at a Nick as if his stinginess was an indication of wife-beating tendencies)
"Wah!  He is a hard man.  Madame, I am sorry, but your life is hard."

...following conclusion of negotiations...

"Madame, your husband, I think he is a Berber."

At a Moroccan bric-a-brac shop 
(Me, clutching a silver-edged item to my heart)
I think we could manage a bit more...

Absolutely not.

(Me, apologetically, to shopkeeper)
I'm terribly sorry, but he makes the decisions. I am a sad lady and my life is hard.

(Shopkeeper, looking daggers at Nick)
"Madame, you are kind but this is a Good Price and you, Monsieur, are a Bad Man."

Happy birthday Nick Mead - I won't say how old you are, but you'll always be 27 to me xxxx