Friday, September 24, 2010

The Juice Nazi Of Marrakesh

The Juice Nazi Of Marrakesh

the entrance to the square in Marrakesh
Though less crowded than usual due to Ramadan, Morocco’s most famous square was still pure hustle and bustle in the early afternoon. Musicians, ice cream bars, restaurants, performers, monkey handlers, vendors, and … snnnnnaaakkkkeeeessss!!!!
I instinctively freeze. Directly in my path are three puff adders and a king cobra, coiled like springs, hissing, praying that someone ventures within striking distance so they can release their pent-up frustrations of having to listen to a tone-deaf flute player, all day commanding them to dance. In the middle of the Marrekesh’s medina ... are some of the world’s deadliest snakes.
The snake charmer doesn’t sit more than a meter away from them. With all the oblivious tourists walking by, it is obvious these snakes are de-fanged.
The snake charmer beckons me to approach. I won’t do it. How funny it is that I am willing to assault 12 foot long crocodile on a riverbank in Ghana that could easily kill me, but won’t go near snakes that, at least intellectually, I realize pose no threat.
I am told that primates also have a natural fear of snakes, and note, throughout every single culture, be it Roman, Ghanaian, Christian, the serpent has always been the representation of evil. I guess some things might just be hardwired into the collective human psyche.

Wanting to see the square at full tilt after people were able to break their Ramadan fasts, I return in the evening.
Make eye contact with a Moroccan here, be prepared to be sold Something; leather, souvenirs, hashish, whatever you want, it’s available. I run into two funny looking brothers who force some ancient musical instrument into my hand and sing the word, “America, America, America” over and over and over with me til I burst out laughing, which is their queue to extend their hands, expectantly awaiting the royalties for our new hit single.
Singing the hit song "America" on Moroccan Idol-- Source: "Rolling Stone"
Large carts serve as storefronts for most vendors, many selling the same exact products side by side. Almost all merchants get an A+ for presentation. It’s a competitive marketplace.

One of the fresh squeezed orange juice stands has a line much longer than the others. I am told by a local that the owner is one of the great juice artisans of our time. I need to get a video of this, I raise my camera to check the lighting. The stand owner notices, and shakes his finger at me strongly, a disgusted look on his face. “You no take my picture, I am not a monkey!”
“I wasn’t taking your picture, I was checking the light—
“—No, I see you take my picture! You take my picture. You must learn Respect.”
“No I didn’t, I was going to film a little video vignette while I was buying some orange juice from you.”
“You? You think you can get a juice? You want my juice?”
“Yes, I do.”
“No juice for you! Come back one year!”
I stood there in shock. Then, he took it upon himself to serve my friend Bruce a free glass of juice, and followed it up by giving him a fresh squeezed bottle of OJ to take with him. And while serving Bruce, he was giving me a death stare, the entire time. The following is a scientific breakdown of the Juice Nazi’s eye contact--
Richard- 100% (death stare)
Bruce- 1%
(Disclaimer-- this study comes with a 1% margin of error)
So as you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to traveling with Rich. On one hand, his rude and boorish behavior might further degrade America’s already sullen image throughout the world, and possibly be a marker future historians will point to as a catalyst for World War III, but on the plus side; you’re quite likely to get a free glass of juice. Pack your bags.

1 comment:

  1. Dude you have got to respect Islamic and cultural trends. People still disappear there LOL
    How are the women in Morocco? I know they are beautiful Dre from Brenthood


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