The moment we stepped off the plane in Marrakech, caught a taxi to the square and found our little road we felt like Morocco was everything and more we'd ever dreamt of. Wandering the soukes the first few days, haggling a little, biding our time as we tried to soak in everything - hand cut brass lanterns, jewellery sellers, leather bags all too much for a girls eye, carpet galleries, antiques.
I just wanted it all I'd never seen so much beauty in one market. But wait we weren't allowed to start buying yet.
My husband the more experienced at this game than I, had a plan. We look first, buy later. If I walk into a shop and see something I like I don't touch it, but in code I tell my husband, then he walks to the other side of the shop and picks out something I have no interest in, and shows interest, tricks the seller into thinking that it's that bag we are interested in, after a brief haggle my husband says oh no too much, and as he looks like he's about to leave, casually picks up the bag and queries the price on the one I liked. The haggling behind. Ades already got him down on the first item, he knows he can go much lower on this one as the seller doesn't want to lose this sale. Ade goes for the jugular, the seller cusses and swears and throws his arms in the air in true Moroccan theatrics. Eventually they settle on a price and sit down for sweet mint tea while ordering a large quantity. The deal is done, a deposit made, and the seller becomes our friend for life.
Later that night as promised we are taken for a drive up the mountains and introduced to the sellers wife, sisters, children, parents and grandparents. We share tajine that the women prepare but don't join us to eat. I'm the only woman amongst the men. The house is called a Kasbah, there are fresh sheep skin laid out to dry on the terracotta staircase landing, the orange walls of the square building are warm but the open air mezzanine under the stars where the veiled women lay on carpets together is cool and refreshing.
A Moroccan star and crescent moon can be seen.
This is Morocco.