This was the moment I was waiting for… visiting Tangier’s old town markets. There are many stalls here where you can practice your bartering skills on buying rugs, antiquities, trinkets, jewelry, oil, household goods, fish, fruit, meat, spices, shoes, clothing… and many other wonders found in Medina (the name for the Tangier old town).
Like any other old-world marketplace, the one in Tangier is rife with tourist traps, con artists, touts, pickpockets, and very very persistent sellers. One of our companions bartered endlessly for a cheap fez — and was followed for over an hour on the small cobbled streets. He still refused to pay more than €1 and the seller would take no less than €2. At the end of the visit, the seller was still bartering at the bus as it drove away.
We visited a rug merchant, antiquities merchant, fruit stalls, and a chemist. My personal favourite was the chemist; this was new to me. I’d seen and experienced everything else in India. That said, watching the rug salesmen work in teams on other tourists was still eye-opening. In the end, we left Morocco with only a few items; the mass of relentless experienced touts was simply too overwhelming to even make an effort at bartering.
If anything was gained, it was Niña’s newly found skill at haggling. She took all the whispered advice and quiet observation from Morocco and applied it to a handmade fan merchant in Málaga… and negotiated him down from €75 to €25 for a large, beautiful, fully handmade, hand-painted (on both sides) fan… all on her own.