After being in the small town of Amizmiz all morning and some of the afternoon and being alone for the entire trip so far, the Souks were a big culture shock to me, I have been there 3 times already and thought I knew what to expect but as I crossed the huge square to get in to the heart of them my system was shocked as to how many people I had forgotten about, I remembered they were busy but not this busy.
The Souks are completely full of people and depending on what time you go the square can be quite deceptive, when I arrived the square really wasn’t that busy and I thought that it must take a fair amount of people to fill up that space and so stupidly thought that the Souks wouldn’t be busy, turns out there was enough people to fill the square, they were all just hiding from the sun, in the narrow streets and allies of the Souks.
I love the stools, the colours, the smells, the sounds and the activity at the Souks and if it wasn’t for all of the shouting for you to buy something I would spend my life there. If you ever want to know what it would be like to be a celebrity then I feel a place like the Souks would be like a training ground, everyone wanting to talk to you, everyone wants something from you and all you want is to walk down the street in peace.
After being shouted at by a local and told that I thought myself clever for taking photos behind me and that I should have my camera stolen and smashed at the very least, I decided to leave, the Souks and the people there are not for me. This is not to say that I don’t love the people in the country, far from it, all of the people that I have met during this trip have been wonderful and many simply want to chat without wanting me to spend any money with them at all, the people in the Souks on the other hand are just all too rude for me, thinking that I owe them for being in their country, I owe them nothing, I owe the amazing people I have met throughout this trip everything.
As I left the Souks and walked back across deceptive square I was offered hash 3 times, each time as I declined, my pace quicken to get the fuck out of the fucking Medina and back to the French quarter where life is a lot more relaxed. I knew enough that jumping in to a taxi just on the strip of the Medina would have meant a large bill so instead I decided to walk until one stopped for me.
When a taxi did stop for me it was driven by a great man who restored my faith in the people of this country once more, we chatted and I paid him a good price, I was happy to be back home after a true adventure away from the city. The day went from being alone at my apartment, to being alone in an Atlas village, to being threaten in the Souks to being alone once more, I wouldn’t change a thing.