Medina

So yesterday after the walking historical tour with Ellen we went to the medina. This hectic shopping area sells everything from leather goods to olives to traditional rugs to knock off designer boxer shorts. In order to shop there you need to be able to sift through and compare a variety of products as well as haggle your tail off while swatting away the local boys who are chasing after said tail. Needless to say the medina is an experience needing preparation. First off its important to know the products you’re looking at. For example many of the seemingly traditional items are factory made with replicas throughout every shop in the city and every tourists napsack. I think the best way to begin to see quality yourself is exposure. Ellen mentioned how at first everything seems really great but after a while you begin to notice slight differences. For example the slippers, some soles are sown on and others glued. There is a lot of jewelry and its important to note whether the silver is stamped. Some products it’s okay to buy the cheapies while others, like a teapot, you’re going to want to invest in because the quality difference will have lasting effects. 

Next haggling. Strange and difficult. Apparently the rule of thumb to ask how much and the. Offer half of what they charge you. Basically nothing in the medina has a set price and you are going to be ripped off if you don’t haggle well or have someone with you who can. Walking away is an effective strategy as well. Sometimes walking away isnt easy, particularly in the case of the henna ladies. They basically force themselves onto you, tell you not to worry about paying because you’re telling them no the entire time, and then charge you. It’s a headache and I wish I had just worn sleeves that day.. Otherwise the medina has a lot to offer and is very exciting. 
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