Marrakech -Let's head to the shops!! part 3

A man approached me and asked whether I am interested in authentic spices and local herbal products.I felt that this person seems ok and I said why not?At first I wasnt sure cos u know, strangers …mama said dont follow strangers, right? But I broke that rule many times recently in my travel escapades. I feel deep down that its ok. If I felt uneasy, I will said no and walk off. (But dont follow my method, its not safe…)

Anyway, this man brought me to the local streets…where the shops are.

travel tip/trick: the people here dont fancy you taking photos.Some even commercialised it…e.g if u take their photos even accidentally,they will ask you for 50-100dirham (daylight robbery?!)So i got some tricks up my sleeves. I put my camera on sport mode and snap their photos candidly and I need to move fast.Before they knew it, Im already gone. But mainly its this trick that I learnt…Turn to ur right as if u are looking on the right when u are actually snapping pics on the left. hehe!

I like these tiles motifs all over Morrocan. Even though some streets are so shabby and lifeless, these tiles create that colourful life,energy …..beautiful.

Interesting door..

Postcards anyone?It is much cheaper to buy in these stalls than those duty free shops at the airport.
Date and figs street seller

Ah..we have reached the place after 15mins of walking….

Ya know, thruout this whole journey, although Im fasting, I felt like Im walking on air…. floating …and I dunno where the extra surge of energy come from. But I’m not complaining… alhamdulillah.

Anyway upon reaching there is another man who gives me a briefing on a lot of herbs.They have many spices (curry,tagine-mamamia!, curcuma/turmeric and lots more)

Look at the long benches.I think they might be expecting more company, perhaps tourist group…

Ginseng are also available…

This squarish thing is for after Hammam, rub it at ur skin, so need to sniff, the smell will spread into the air within minutes. Mmm…The colourful jars are all dyes for clothes…

This is Habbatus Sauda. I know about this seeds when I went to Mecca 10 years ago. It is also known as Nigella Sativa. It can cure any illness except death. It is also considered as Morrocan Vicks. Cos if u wrap the seeds in a cloth and put it close to the nostrils and sniff it, it really felt refreshing…just like Vicks but much more powerful. It is good for migraine, increase intelligence ,sinus and lots more.In Singapore, you can get these at Mustafa Centre near the spices sections.(they have a different name, I forgot what it is but I can identify them when I go shopping) .My mom made a pillow for me when I have headaches.

Yikes!What are these? I know dope is said to be easily available but err…dont worry, its just henna, to decorate the fingers/palms…

This is quite interesting… Its a clay object , the red thing is from poppy flower and it is used to decorate the lips like lipstick.Cool huh? (but I wonder am i able to bring this in Singapore cos I think now poppy is banned) Should I or should I not buy this home…hmm…*Procrastinate

This gourd is used as a container for water or decoration.It keeps the water cool. But first need to scrape out the flesh first before drying it.

This is the ORIGINAL toothpicks.a nature’s gift.Its a plant. Break one piece and tick out those stubborn meat in ur teeth …..

What is that?!!Anaconda? Oh its just phython…. (err..mummy?!!?!)

Although I was born in the year of the snake, Im scared of snakes…but I grit my teeth and touch its skin… its dead anyway,right? (eeyew…)

Now, what the heck is this?

this is the address of the shop….

i like the weighing scale,so old fashioned!!

Wait what is that lurking at the ceiling…Fox? WHat?!! Is it alive?!!Is it real or just plush doll.

Sorry to say that the above and the animals featured here are all real.The below is the fox’s skins used to make clothes for warmth. *frowning..

Ok, I did not buy alot. They were about 2 dirham per gram. They said they will give me local price but Im ok. Im not really a shopper…so paid my stuff and said goodbyes to them and venture elsewhere….
It was interesting to know about the medicine. Felt like in a museum or documentary or something ….
travel tip/trick: Before you take a cab, do ask for the fare and then bargain and then tell them that u dont want them to take u to any medicine shop/halls/old homes of the locals (cos all meant the same thing-medicine shops).I think they have some commisions.
I strayed and chanced upon Shop number 2….very neatly arranged. The man was friendly (aren’t they all?) and I saw some stuff that the other shop dont have.So I asked him what is this ,that and that….he happily obliged and he also does massages for men.
What is that on the floor, welcoming me as a doormat?Is it a zebra or a cow skin? Hmm…

This black paste is to be used after Hammam and then leave it on the body and face and after few minutes ,wash it off. The face will be flawless and smooth. I scan this man’s face.Indeed, it look smooth

These are the dried herbs

Look at the beautiful cones of spices. I can spent hours just staring at it…

What are these cute tortoises doing here?!!
Powder eyeliner-good for the eyes.Prevent sore eyes (I think something like that)

Where can u buy FRESH chicken as fresh as this? Not in Singapore, Malaysia, perhaps..I wish I could be like him too ,buy a real live chicken with feathers walking happily on the streets…lalalalala…hehe! But need to do lots of work (plucking the feathers and all that).Err, I like mine featherless and fried…(Arnolds’ where are u?)
I remembered when I was young that my late grandfather was one of those who slaughter live chickens in the market. And I remembered where instances that he slaughter, I was so curious that I came near and they told me that if I get too close to him,the blood will splattered on my face and it will eventually become moles on my face..(err, that time I was young, I bought all the stories that my aunties/uncles “sell” hehe!)
After a refreshing batch of knowledge from the 2nd shop owner, I find my way to the Djemma El Fnaa (that is the deep seated reason I’m here isnt it?hehe!)

This is a fish seller. He was selling to the stall owners.But I saw many flies crowding at the fishes that he sells. Erm….is that fresh?

Koutubia Mosque.It is one of the largest mosque in Marrakech.

Bamboo mats. I was told that today evening, there will be about 5000 muslims gather near iftar time to say out the kalimah shahadah together. Kinda like strenghtening our faith ….

Travel tip/trick: The people of Morrocco are a very warm and friendly bunch.The friendliest ever! Cos although its a muslim country all men and women extend their hand to shake hands with me as an act of friendship.(although its not advisable to shake hands with non-mahram, teacher taught me not to embarass people if they extend their handshakes, we have to embrace it no matter how uncomfy I was. I used to said No and leave them pink…)

Some women grab my hands and kissed me countless times (i thought they only kissed 4 or 2 times like the french?Err..but i think they give me more than I bargain for) on the cheeks and forehead which totally caught me offguard.A bit culture shock.

Remember how I try to hide from Dutch acquaintances kissing/hugging me by standing behind my roomies (in my holland trip hee!). How did I get affectionately embraced by the Morrocans when we have a language barrier? Well, you have to read the next post, insya-Allah.

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