April 19, 2012


"Don't trust them" the Berber man said.
It was an early sun kissed morning and I was walking the ruins around Borj Nord. "Who's not to trust?"  I wondered.
"Them," he said, looking as if he finally had found an ally, turning his head towards the Medina. 

"Look here!"  
With a careless motion, he opened a crumpled plastic bag and pulled out a deep blue cotton blanket. 
"Nice, but I do not need one" I replied.  
"It serves anything" he said with a sad look. "And listen to what I tell you.   Tomorrow or maybe even later today,  when you walk the Medina these mafiosi there will for sure sell you these blankets for 3 times the price. My wife..." he nodded, this time towards the mountains "makes these rugs and it takes her 5 days. Five days! 250 Dirham I ask, that's no money! " 
"But I'm really not interested!" I tried...feeling this was a no go from there, deep inside...
The merchant in him did not gave up
"If you now buy from me then my family has food again for a week.
"120 Dirham" I said and got ready to leave, feeling some kind of pride that I had a point on the topic?!?!. 
He looked very unhappy as if he was bearing the full load of all the blankets in the Medina on his shouldersAbout 100 m further, the deal was closed. He remained unhappy to indicate that he had sold far below the price.  I did the same as I was left with something that I would probably try to hide for the rest of my life as I did not even like it.

The next morning I saw him again. This time very early while I was buying for breakfast in the Medina.  

He had a mule, loaded with blankets he was delivering to the souks in the main shopping street.
He smiled at me but I could notice he did not recognise me. I was one of the many faces, one of the many he had convinced .... 

I smiled back. 
I told him I had one of these.
"They are the best" he said "My wife makes them and they are all round."

Moving to Morocco, I thought I'd leave the blanket to our new house owners.
I told them it was all round.
I got a good price.