MOROCCO LANGUAGE SKILLS
8:42 AM Tuesday November 23, 2004
I just went outside my room to use the internet, because I am not positive what time the Internet Café opens, and I also am not positive my clock is set correctly, in my room, I venture out just hoping. The Internet Café is closed and the cleaning lady in the Internet café held up her hands.
I am quite sure she means 10:00 in the morning they will open, this is good, and the lady understand how to count, this is nice as I am having a lot of problems buying food, because the venders are not as smart as the cleaning lady. I go and buy something, I hold up my hand.
One finger up?
Points at the item I wish to purchase and shrug like a question mark.
Two fingers up?
They answer me in French.
English or Anglais
They tell me again in French, I want to raise my middle finger, but normally I just walk out better to do business with smarter vendors, but I have learned, NEVER NEVER NEVER give them money until you are 100 percent sure of the price. Make them type the price into the calculator and they hold the item you want to purchase in front of the calculator. They will take your money and give you less than you bargained for…!
This county is taking the champion position of the world so far in my being cheated in small ways countries. It is almost impossible to buy peanut here by the kilo because they cheat me, and I will not allow myself to be cheated. Guess this is a good way to cut down on the high calories peanuts, but frustrating.
(I do not allow myself to be cheated, or that will be the thing I remember most about the country.)
I purchase peanuts the first two times with no problems and for two Dirhams they gave me more raw type peanuts than I wanted to eat, then I go the next few times. Hold up two Dirhams, they take the money (The Mistake on my part) then try to give me almost none.
I have to have them show me the amount; I cannot trust them for peanuts. This is the first country where I have had trouble with the weighing of items for sale like fresh fruit, vegetables or what not. However, I am in the Medina area or old town part of Essaouira and this is TOURIST CENTRAL
, and the venders in here are looking for a score with the tourist, and the French to me seem like good targets. As best I can tell 95 percent of the tourist in Morocco are French, maybe a few Germans, and a few tour groups, but most are French, the French look like they smoked one too many cigarettes.
I purchased one small round piece of bread.
I was pleasantly surprised when I gave the man my one Dirham.
The woman in the internet cafe spells it CHOKRAN
(... This is not normal here, or in the world to say thank you.)
I think he said, Thank you in Arabic, but I am not sure. Isabelle sent me many words in Arabic to learn, but I did not try, because the last thing I want them to think is I speak Arabic. I already have two people on my list of Foreigners that I want to smack that tried to speak Arabic and got us in lots of trouble in Basra Iraq, Chris and Peter, both start conversations, but could not finish them or even understand the question.
I think you need 500 words before you can speak or understand an answer, before that you need to keep it to hello, thank you, and good-bye, even how much can get you in trouble. I have them type the price on a calculator or write it down on paper.
is the language though of business here in Morocco, this almost dooms this country to poverty on a world basis, as how are they going to sell to the world when they speak French. So just, learn some French and forget the Arabic.
COST OF MEDICINE IS ATROCIOUS
I have purchase small vitamins, or anti-biotic creams all over the world, and in most of the cheap countries these type of product are very cheap. I priced some creams and stuff yesterday and very high priced for a country as poor as this, I am hoping they are just gouging me because I am in the tourist area, because if they are not, then this is ridiculously high compared to South America or Southeast Asia.
But so are the clothes, they have them priced the same as the USA, the jacket I purchase for 110 Dirhams or 11 U.S. dollars is for sale in most countries for 4-5 dollar, and this was keeping me cold as I could not believe they would want that much, but now I am going to start really whacking them hard on negotiations as I think they lie and cheat so much, I must really use my negotiation skills, I do not like to negotiate, and only do it to buy, I do not do it for fun, when I first traveled I believe it was fun, now it is annoying, but here even when there is a price and I think the price is fair, I must make sure and negotiate, or the will nick me on the price.
The internet opened at 9:30 but I think they open when they want and not according to the clock.