Solbit, the Seasoned Traveler, Sees Secrets

Dear Nicalai,

As you know, I’ve become a “seasoned traveler!”  That’s what Nona and Papa have told me, anyway.  Being a seasoned traveler, I’ve become more aware of “little secrets” that other travelers have.  Different travelers have different “secrets” or opinions that they feel really strongly about, but they sort of pretend they don’t until something happens.  Then it comes out.

While we have been in Morocco, I’ve seen my four adult human travel companions with their particular “secrets.”

I'll start with John

I’ll start with John

Know what John’s secret is?  I do.  He wants his daily dose of dark chocolate, no matter what country he’s in.  Morocco must have bars of dark chocolate, but, I tell you, when John couldn’t find a supply here, he “was not a happy camper,” as Nona likes to say.

Then there’s Nona.  You know she doesn’t drink tea or coffee, ever.  She just doesn’t like the taste of it. Well, when we were at the home of a very friendly Berber, he served us mint tea.


Berber mint tea

It’s made with Chinese Gunpowder tea mixed with fresh mint.  It really smells good.  Well, Nona couldn’t refuse it, but, when our host wasn’t looking, she took a few polite sips and quickly switched her almost full glass with Papa’s empty glass of tea!  Yeah, I saw her do it.  Papa didn’t tell on her though.  He was happy to have her glass of tea too.

Then there’s Papa.  You know he always wants his “special” glass of red grape juice with his supper.  That’s not always available here in Morocco.

Papa with glass of special red grape juice

Papa with glass of special red grape juice

It’s an Islamic culture here, and, for some reason, they don’t usually serve that kind of grape juice.  I don’t know why.  I see Papa looking around restaurants here to see if other tables have any of that grape juice, but he doesn’t talk about it.

Finally, I gotta tell you about Angela. She wanted to buy a pouf here.  I didn’t know what a pouf is.  Do you?  It’s a pretty and well made leather bag into which you put stuffing.  Then it becomes a comfortable stool, seat, or some people say “Ottoman.”


At the pouf shop: Merzoga Cuir, 159, Rahba Lakdima Sidi Ishak – Marrakech

Well, Angela found just the pouf that she wanted.  She asked the shop owner, “How much?”  He told her a price. At that point, here in Morocco, you’re supposed to bargain.  Right?  You don’t agree to pay the full price.

John and Nona know all about the proper way to bargain prices in the market here, and they thought Angela and Papa did too.  But Angela and Papa were aghast (cool word, huh? Nona taught it to me).  They didn’t know that you’re supposed to offer to pay just about one third of the price you are given.  Then the shop owner will, maybe, say no, he has to have at least two thirds of the price.  Then you are supposed to say no, you can only pay less.  This bargaining goes back and forth until you finally agree to pay maybe half or a little more than half the original price.  You’re happy, and the shop owner is happy.

Well, John jumped in and began to bargain.  That’s when Angela “joined forces” with the shop owner to insist on the full price.  The poor shop owner didn’t know what to do!  He finally bargained with John, while Angela worried she wouldn’t get her pouf.  They agreed on a good price for her very nice pouf.  Everyone was happy.

Angela was especially happy

Angela was especially happy

That pretty much describes our experience here in Morocco. Everyone is happy.  What about my “secret?”  Well, if I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret, would it?

I’m your friend.



October 2014

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s