Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Staying in Marrakech

I decided when I set off from Australia that I would buy textiles along the way. They're compact, light (well, that's the theory anyway - more about my Uzbek suzani on another day) and are exotic reminders of haggling, offers of mint tea and happiness all around when a bargain is finally struck.

I travelled to Marrakech for my 30th birthday, with my brother and his wife, and a friend also from Australia. When the brother (Nath) and his wife (Nam) left Marrakech a day earlier than Laura and I (we were headed back to London, they were off to Paris - jetsetters!), they had some Dhirrum left. I was entrusted with it, to buy a carpet that Nam had seen near our Riad.

Of course Laura and I went back to see the carpet, convinced that it would be far too expensive and not even worth haggling for. He named a first price less than what we had to spend. So automatically.... we thought something was wrong with the carpet... We finally decided that it wasn't well made, was a bit worse for wear from hanging in an alleyway and just not quite up to our standards. So started the great carpet hunt of April 2007. We found plenty we LOVED, at prices that would cause nightmares, but finally found a little gem at just the right price.

Then we were off to find a location for the authentic photo shoot (pretending that it was my carpet and didn't need to be handed over in a few days, lost to America!).

Laura led me down alleyway after alleyway and we finally came to this art centre, where she had taken tea while Nath, Nam and I were riding camels (proof above) a few days earlier.

It was definitely worth it, and even though this carpet didn't join my textile collection I have some good memories of looking for it, haggling, and then assisting stylist Laura with the photoshoot... and I always have my cactus silk bedspread to remind me of Morocco!

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