JBT offers friendly small group, cycling, trekking and family holidays in Morocco as well as affordable, custom tours of Morocco: Family Adventures; Erg Chigaga Sahara; Morocco Trekking; Imperial Cities; Eclectic Morocco
The traditional style of eating rice dishes in Morocco, a hands-on approach.
people are mostly calm and tolerant,
even when dealing with culturally gormless non-Muslim infidels.
The exception to the rule are rabid carpet merchants who will do just about anything to unload their products, including starting a conversation with "Where are you from?" (they often have a relative living there too, amazingly), offering a cup of tea, asking for help with what's written on a postcard, pretending to be a Blue Man and waiting patiently for a ride somewhere (during which the conversation drifts towards shopping), and of course just plain following the target tourists around pestering them interminably.
A Marrakesh water seller; in practice few tourists would risk drinking his water. They will however, pay to take his photo!
Merchants and their touts can be a total pain and you need to learn to handle them to enjoy your Morocco experience. This boisterous, pushy approach is actually a Marrakchi characteristic and not just a way of tormenting tourists! So, like children, treat them firmly but without losing your temper:
Look briefly at them and forcefully say 'La!' (no) or 'La, shookrun' (no, thank you in Arabic). Then there's 'Mish eise hagga' (I don't want anything') for the linguists.
If you're getting on well with a Moroccan say 'al hamdou lillah' (praise God) when you/he mention something positive, or 'Inshallah' (God willing) when you discuss the future e.g. "See you tomorrow Hamed. Inshallah." He will be delighted!
Moroccans can be lovely, hospitable people if you get the chance to know them. However... most offers of hospitality such as 'come in for a cup of tea!' - in regular destinations will result in a sales campaign. So don't accept any.
- don't trust what young men on the street tell you and don't tell them where you're staying.
- be very clear and firm about your needs; indecision and vagueness could lead to unwanted pressure.
- all sorts of tricks are used to develop a relationship that will lead to sales, from the simple 'where are you from' to 'could you tell me what this says'. Best to reply distantly to greetings and nothing more.
A philosophical (or was it religious?) discussion in a defiantly non-tourist cafe. Conversations generally involve a lot of hand gestures and exclamations of Inshallah, Bismillah and Allah ou Akbar.
Hennaed hands of a Moroccan woman.
travellers: The hassle-factor for lone females or even pairs can be tiresome.
Do wear very conservative clothing - certainly not tank tops or short skirts and preferably
plus a headscarf. Stay with crowds and away from solitary low-light areas.
And by the way tourists, don't get your hands painted with black henna, it's toxic. The natural brown henna is no problem.
We're not entirely sure if that bent finger in the photo is natural, an insult or to ward off the evil eye of the photographer.