Morocco with love or hate?
Now and then I read blogs or comments how Morocco has someone dissapointed and they would never want to return, nor would they recommend the country for anyone. Then you have other travelers that keep returning to Morocco and absolutely adore it.
I wonder why is that, what makes some people love Morocco and others hate?
I believe that main reason people dislike Morocco is generally due to hassle they get to experience. Something that we foreigners are not use to. Often, they complain that in Fes, Marrakech and other cities, they have been pulled to stores, they are being force to make a purchase, fake guides getting them lost, taxi drivers completely ripping them off. Everyone is seeing travelers as a dollar sign and wonder how to get most money out of them.
It can be true that foreigners are guarded as someone wealthy and therefore having purchase power. I believe that all this can be voided or at least minimized. If you are not traveler savvy and get easily upset, hire local guides to show you around, book morocco tour where you will be well taken care of and no need to stress about being hassled by someone.
Other ways to avoid it is to be firm and polite, when someone is trying to make you purchase something. Confidently and firmly state that you are not intersted. It is also helpful to aovide eye contact with sellers, sometimes wearing dark sunglasses does the trick.
Don't go off with anyoen that approaches you offering to guide you around or show you the best restaurant to eat in. Their agenda is most likely to bring you to their "uncle" store or purposely getting you lost in the medina demanding payment to find your way. Don't walk with anyone you don't know. In Morocco tourist can walk only with an authorized guide that has proper badge. Anyone else can be jailed if caught.
Agree on price before you set into taxi (or ensure they put the meter on), horse carriage or even tour trips to avoid unwanted surprises. Dress more modestly to prevent unwelcome attention and cat calling. Know the tourist police phone number. Often just mentioning you will call them scares people off.
Morocco is unique and beautiful country that will make you fall in love with if you come prepared. Understand that you might be hassled but take it with bit of humor ( I know it can be hard to do sometimes), get out of your comfort zone and be open minded.