Djemaa El FnaPosted: January 25, 2015
We arrived in Marrakech on Saturday night. My roommates is Clojo from Maker course and Isabella from Graphic course. After we settled ourselves at the Riad (located quite in the centre of the city and 5 minutes walk to main Medina) we went out to Djemaa El Fna to get some food and to get the feeling of Marrakech at night. Riad is a house where they have a courtyard in the middle of the house. In the courtyard they placed a fountain (sometimes inside a gazebo) and garden around it. The garden is divided into four sides to symbolise the four seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter).
The alley way toward Djemaa from our Riad is quite dark, most probably because most of the shops were already shut by 8-9pm. The shop keepers (99% of them were men) like to invite tourists to buy or have a look around their shops by persuasion. Most of them use stereotype (for British is Fish & Chips, cheese burger for American, etc) to try to engage with tourists. The one thing that is unacceptable is the cat calling. Girls in our group (and to any western women) were being called Lady Gaga, Shakira, “oh this one is nice/hot” and being offered thousands of camels to be their wife, and apparently I am Japanese and they greeted me with Konichiwa (I have brown skin and round face and eyes and dyed light brown hair by the way). No matter where we are, I personally think that cat calling is derogatory to women. I would refuse them politely and sincerely hope that they change the cat calling culture in the souks and Djemaa. It certainly does not reflect the famous Moroccan hospitality.
PS: Djemaa El Fna is a place of trade and biggest one in Marrakech with souks (market), artisans, theatre, storytelling, acrobat performance, local music, and local cuisine gathered in the biggest square in Marrakech. Haggle is the culture and there are some fix price shops/cafe in Djemaa. The square opens from 9am-1am but from what I’ve seen, it actually never sleep (maybe it would be different around Ramadan month).
Photos are coming soon.