|The Rcif square and gate to the medina|
I'm still not overly sure on the dining options in Fez. At night, the medina is quite intimidating - the narrow walls of the streets magnify the mystery and horror - and the shrill screaming of random crazy people certainly add some kind of element that can't necessarily be described as comforting. This, of course, makes the offers of the various restaurants and hotels for a night custodian quite comforting, since if you're out too late, you can always just have the cafe or restaurant you're in give a call to your hotel. Though our Riad had this service, and we used him New Years night, he didn't really seem eager for tips, so one didn't have to worry about that - he just dropped us off and quickly disappeared. We did make sure to tip him at the end of our trip, as the same guy was all sorts of helpful in arranging things during our stay.
|The Ruined Garden|
I mentioned before that recently in Morocco, there had been a movement to discourage young women from the lascivious activity of shisha smoking, so shisha bars had become absurdly and un-stereotypically harder to find, even in such a large city as Fez. Queries to the hotel staff were left in ignorance and simply an offer to use the house water pipe. The waitress at the Ruined Garden had tipped us off to one place, the Fez Lounge, which was "Right down the Talaa Kebira." Well, despite going right down the Talaa Kebira, or possibly it was the Talaa Segira or the Zkak Roua - really, they all look like the same windy narrow alleys with occasional hints of sacred glamor from tiled towers and minarets - we couldn't find the Fez Lounge. My next object was to find a hookah water pipe souvenir, but besides some crappy ones clearly imported from Egypt, there didn't seem to be much of those on sale.
|A main street in Fez|
Those two main avenues are filled with trinket and souvenir sellers, who aren't overly pushy. Occasionally children tried to lead our way, and we let one guide us back to Rcif, mainly because he was a cute little guy and made fun of my beard. They're not being cute or helpful for free, but for small tips, so understand that. There is little kindness for outsiders there that doesn't involve tips.
|Drying and dying some leather|
|A cat helping dry some leather|
|A loom in a rug shop|
"Name your price then," the vendor said.
"We've got a hundred to spare, and I like that one."
"No, you must be reasonable. Name a reasonable price. That one is 300."
"But that's the price I'll pay, because that's what I have. 100 euro."
"That's not a reasonable price, name a reasonable one." He apparently had never seen the walk away tactic actually being used, since that was what we did. It worked for me lots in buying weird textiles I didn't really need in Turkey, but here I was saved my 100 euro by his steadfastness.
"Really man, that's all I can do, have a nice day!" And we walked away.