Soon after we learned that Erin would be joining us on our trip to Morocco, she started to talk about a carpet.
I thought “Oh no, there are a million horror stories of people buying carpets in Morocco. How do you know we won’t get taken?”
When I bargain/negotiate for some stuff like taxis or fruit, I am okay, I can almost enjoy it. But when I have to negotiate for something that is important or costs more money, I completely shut down! I feel sweaty, nervous and totally out of my comfort zone. This kind of thing makes me homesick for Walmart. I will do almost everything to avoid it.
Thankfully, Chris is in sales and is good at it. Thankfully for Erin too. So the carpet quest begins somewhere in southern Morocco. Erin mentions to our guide that she is interested and of course, naturally, not surprisingly, he knows just the right person. And then I begin to worry.
“Will we be able to afford the carpet? How long will this take (like forever)? Will we feel pressured into having to buy a carpet, even if she doesn’t really like one?… and so on and so on…
Well we are taken to a shop that is a shop, but also pretends to be a restaurant. This is how the “suck up” or “sales pitch” or “becoming friendly thing” begins. It is now officially part of our tour. We are there under the guise of trying Moroccan pizza but in reality, that carpet store is looming mere feet away.
I can feel the sweat beginning… or is that because we are still in the Sahara Desert in the summer time? I try to enjoy my pizza but my mind wanders to what next? What will happen? Will Chris be able to control the situation?
The pizza is taken away and the alarm clock has gone off. Time for the real deal to begin. We enter the store and, man, is it beautiful; like museum beautiful. I can feel my blood pressure rising. Surely these carpets must cost a fortune? Isn’t that what Virtual Tourist and Trip Advisor warn?
But those carpets are SO beautiful that I can’t help myself. I take that first step and I am hooked. There I am with Erin examining, differentiating, discussing the pros and cons of each wondrous carpet. I look to Chris for backup. We are getting closer to negotiating, the papers, the pens and the calculators come out.
“Oh look, Jade there are some pretty tiny (read: cheaper) things to look at. Let’s go over there. Quickly please!”
I leave Chris to his idea of a fun zone; negotiating big ticket items that are totally up his Moroccan alley. I vanish and wait for the verdict.
Escaping to the car, I finally see Erin and Chris coming out with a carpet all bundled up.
Yay! It is all over. I can breathe again.