Wednesday, April 25, 2012

THE LITTLE GUIDE MOHAMMED

It was around midnight. I had been having dinner at a friends house and was trying to find my way back in the small streets of the medina.

"Bonjour, welcome, you speak English Spanish French?"

A little guy was walking along and the way he was smiling at me with his bright eyes gave me a feeling I wanted to get to know more about him.

"What are you doing so late, all of you kids,  here in the streets?

Are there no classes tomorrow?" It was fridaynight and I knew most of them had been eating couscous with their families. But I was confiused on wether they had to go to school or not on saturdays here in Fès.

In stead of answering he asked me in what language I preferred to be spoken to. I could not hide a smile and asked him what he all had to offer.

"Moroccon and French from school and English and Spanish I learned here in the Medina from the tourists!"

Wanting to check this out  I asked to try English.

From that moment on, he was discussing  and telling me about everything he knew, his family, his friends here in the medina, his big brother who was an official guide,

but I should not ask his brother to show me around. He could do this as well and it even did not matter if it was Fès, Marrakech, Mèknes...He knew them all and he could make me a good price.

I really enjoyed him, he was not pushy but he was so good in selling and he was such a charming talker.

His English was perfect and I was wondering how long he had been listening and learning.

"Oh us kids, we run around here in the streets from as soon as we can walk, and so I just learned. I'm eleven now" he said and looked as if he could graduate from highschool any day.

With this enjoyable midnight walk I had arrived in no-time at the riad.

"So it is a deal?" he asked. Tomorrow or so I guide you around and I charge you 300 Dirham for a whole day.

"well, that still is a lot of money!" I smiled. Not knowing if he now was serious or not.

"Lady listen, he said wisely. You are staying at this riad, I know the prices. It s too much you pay here. You should move to the hotel where my mother works. She can make you a good price and then we can look on this guiding thing again."

I could'nt stop laughing and I told him he urgently should get his own cards so people could contact him.

"no need for that, my name is Mohammed and you can find me every evening outside the coffeebar. Just ask for that, there is only one American coffeebar in the medina"

Off he went in the night, all on his own, disappearing around a corner.

Bye Mohammed, bye little guide.I 'm convinced and hope one day we will hear from you...
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