Morocco Day 5… Fes…

Shopping in Fes…

Well I spent the whole day getting lost in the medina, and I did end up getting my Moroccan lamp… Left the medina with it, as well as with a traditional handmade Berber carpet…lol

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Didn’t plan on getting a rug, but my experience in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar came in handy… Haggling for carpets is such an experience. It’s like people really enjoy negotiating the price of a deal…

It’s like when you haggle with people, you touch a piece of them… To test them to see how far they will go… It’s almost like it’s a test of stamina, to see who gives in first… Kinda like a mix between poker and chess 🙂

This is how it goes… (At least with my 2 experiences with carpet purchases)… 🙂

You sit down in a large showroom. A man walks in with 2-3 helpers. He starts some small talk. You are given tea (in Turkey obviously it was Turkish tea, in Morocco it’s mint tea)…

You are sipping your tea while the helpers keep rolling carpets on the floor.. You throw in some casual small talk like you’re interested, but not quite… Here is where you ‘very causally’ ask for a price, so you can gauge yourself to know where you can start later… The more you ask with determination the more he knows of your interest… If he catches your emotion he’s got you closer to his price…

1511328_10153266717335020_3898842843215321347_nThen when you’ve had enough you give a hint like your ready to leave. He will then start pulling all the carpets away, and at each one you let him know whether it’s something you like by saying either ‘yes’ or ‘know’… Sometimes they play a game where you have to say it using their language….

You narrow it down to one carpet, here is where negotiations start on a price. This is where it all happens… It happens so fast… I’ve learned always to start at less than half the price that’s first given. And usually you end up in the middle… Both times I ended up below half the price that’s first given by the seller… So the lower you start with, the lower the final price will be if you play your cards right…. The secret is you have to be willing to walk away, right until the end…

As soon as a price is agreed, hands are shaken and within seconds (literally before you blink an eye) the helpers wrap up the carpet, take your name, transaction happens and it’s over. This last part happens so, so fast….

This thing I found about buying carpets is that it’s not all about the price…. Basically it’s all about the carpet, about how much you like it and how much you’re willing to pay for it…11219670_10153266717570020_5348043916022655956_n

It’s fun… It’s an experience… These sellers are good, it’s in their blood and they’ve been doing it for so long…

… Later this morning will be heading towards the desert. Don’t have much info, all I know is that a camel will take me into the Sahara, to spend the night in tents with a local Berber tribe. Tomorrow morning I’ll see the sunrise across the sand dunes. And then it’s back to civilization, to continue the trek towards Marrakech….

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