Safely in Morocco

2007-06-20

in Daily updates, Travel

Djemma El Fna, Marrakesh

The keyboards here are the strangest I have ever seen. Expect few updates.

One suggestion to travelers to Marakesh: never ask for or accept directions from young men, no matter how lost you are. In my experience, they just lead you to their big friend who thinks one night’s hotel costs are an appropriqte ‘gift’ for their help. They then leave you at least as lost as when you started out. If you refuse such offers very adamently, the young men will just follow you up blind alleys for half an hour or so, laughing when you reach a dead end, and eventually leaving out of boredom.

Not bringing my GPS receiver was a big mistake. That said, I am doing well and have much exploring to do.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Antonia June 20, 2007 at 6:29 pm

Sorry to hear about this. Hope the rest of your trip is considerably better.

Sarah June 20, 2007 at 8:06 pm

I believe an inability to understand the prevailing conception of space is part of the Western experience in the Islamic world – there is certainly a body of literature in political geography discussing this topic, including Derek Gregory’s analysis of how Napoleon’s difficulties in Cairo compare to the American difficulties in Baghdad. Based on that, I’d expect that you’re doomed to be lost & confused a great deal of the time, but you can take comfort from knowing that this happens to everybody. Lucky you’re not trying to invade, eh?

Mike Kushnir June 20, 2007 at 9:09 pm

sigh. i remember that gregory lecture. a little TOO well.

Mike Kushnir June 20, 2007 at 9:12 pm

also, i would suspect that scamming tourists has little to do with islamic concepts of space.

Milan June 21, 2007 at 10:40 pm

I don’t think the difficulty of navigating large areas full of twisting nameless streets is really a cultural phenomenon.

Neal June 22, 2007 at 12:19 am

I’m relatively confident that Whistler is markedly less labrynthine than urban Morroco, yet tourists here seem to find themselves lost with alarming alacrity.

R.K. June 22, 2007 at 6:03 pm

The amount of dosh in question must be small compared to the cost of the trip.

Just forget it.

Milan June 23, 2007 at 1:38 am

“Just forget it.”

Good advice. I have.

Anon June 25, 2007 at 10:48 pm

I like how in the French version of Firefox, the clear personal data command is called ‘efface mes traces.’

Mike Kushnir June 26, 2007 at 12:03 am

on the topic of non-western concepts of space…

impossibly complicated. absolutely fascinating.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_addressing_system

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