Well…off we go to the one of the bijillion shopping neighborhoods located in Casablanca. We take the taxi with Abdullah, our designated bodyguard.
We first visit Youssef’s shoe store, where we notice that we are the only women in this massive shoe warehouse. The size of this place is unbelievable. About a football field size warehouse, two stories high, and chucked full of shoes, and athletic type of clothes. Inside, the place are cubicles… pretty much like an indoor swap meet. I don’t know how one makes a living selling things when each stall is selling pretty much the same stuff…but people do.
Now, having a guy shopping with you has been quite fun. I can take care of myself. Abby can take care of herself. But, having a guy along makes a difference with regards to the type of attention one receives.
For instance, in the shoe shop, this older guy thought I was alone, and greeted me politely, and started to ask a question, when Abdullah, came over, snarled at him, said something in Arabic, which made the guy apologize and move away.
It was awesome!
All day long, and on our previous excursions, having a male escort has made a huge difference. When we go out by ourselves, we are treated entirely different… dramatically different.
Next we went to the shoe store on the other side of the street to visit with Bryanm ( I am sure that I am misspelling his name, but this is how it sounds to me), Youssef’s brother. He was delighted to see us, ordered mint tea to be brought to us, and we sat and chatted, in Spanish…well Abby and he did, while I, and Abdullah listened and watched.
Bryanm is a scholar. He has a stack of books that he studies from at work. He has worked at selling shoes for 15 years. But he enjoys doing it, because it gives him time to study.
While here, I kept hearing shouting around the corner. Sounded like the Barker’s down at the fair in the Midway.
I went out to look, and this hallway was jammed with women and children shopping for clothes. Young guys are standing inside a box that sits up above the crowds, holding up varity of clothes, and yelling out descriptions of the items trying to get the attention of the women shopping. Fascinating.
So I go back to tell Abby and Abdullah about this scene. He speaks only French, so I renact the scene. I stand up, grab clothes and yelling out descriptions of the items…pure nonsense… but they laugh, and unbeknownst to me, the owners of the site are standing there, watching me and laughing at my outstanding reenactment.