After 12 days in rural Morocco, I planned to visit one of the cities. I didn’t have any preference and Marrakesh was closest and on my way northwards, so there I went to experience the hustle and bustle of a Moroccan city. Here are some impressions:
While Marrakesh with its picturesque old town is really worth a visit, it left a shale aftertaste with me. Everywhere there were obtrusive people who wanted to sell something, act as a guide or get you in their shop or restaurant. At first they usually pretend to be your friend (‘Hey my friend…’) and then quickly get pushy and rude when they realize they won’t get any money from you. Especially on the bazaar this behaviour was everywhere, as soon as you touched or even looked more closely at the offered merchandise, the seller jumped at you and cornered you, starting to build pressure to buy. It’s actually quite impressive, they know every psychological trick to make you feel bad for not buying their goods at ridiculously inflated prices.
Anyway, in that regard I really preferred the atmosphere in Iranian cities, which is not (yet?) influenced by modern mass tourism. There people showed genuine interest in tourists and not only their money. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed Marrakesh, but the more rural, less touristy parts of Morocco were so much more genuine.