jueves, 4 de julio de 2013
Funky Fes helps you againts scams in the trains of Morocco
>>>> We were disorientated and half asleep after 15 hours travel, when a well dressed, charismatic bald man with good English approached us and engaged in small talk.
>>>> After finding out we were Australian Abdul took an immediate liking to us and drew a number of connections between our lives and his. The most significant of which was his son Hisham, of our age, who had apparently moved to New Zealand 4 years ago, and was now in Fez on holiday. Abdul had us on the phone to Hisham and the pair of them made us laugh and seemed like a lot fun. Abdul repeatedly warned us about how Funky Fez would overcharge us, and made sure that we trusted him over the staff at our hostel, before taking us to a taxi and organising a ten o clock meeting the next morning.
>>>> Upon arrival at the hostel, we were overconfident and excited, after finding what we thought was a local contact and an insiders perspective to this new strange country.
>>>> Both Hicham and his dad guided us through the streets, took us to 'the family's tannery' and out for lunch. While his dad was preoccupied, Hicham began to open up about a small business venture he was profiting from in New Zealand.
>>>> Our purchase of overpriced carpets is very similar to others relayed on the internet. Dozens were rolled out in front of us and we were pressured to make selections while Hicham was also doing the same. At first all attention was on Hicham who had chosen himself four carpets and after doing so, helped us do the same. The merchant made a point of calculating and double checking the supposed fixed price of each piece, to make us feel at ease. Hicham went upstairs to finalise his payments. All focus shifted to us and without understanding the bartering system we were pressured and intimidated into placing a down payment (2,000 € for one of four carpets) despite not being able to afford it. Abdul and Hicham continued to take care of us and occupy our time, with a trip to the middle atlas, dinner, tours and afternoon tea. We eventually decided to approach the staff at Funky Fez for advise, thankfully they took us seriously and organised a way for us to return our carpet and retrieve the money. Without their help we would have struggled to financially support the rest of our trip. Looking back this story sounds foolish, yet we were caught up in a complicated and organised scam. Everyone involved was benefiting financially, allowing these people to invest time and energy into creating the illusion that they were acting in our best interests.
> If it weren't for Assiz and the staff at Funky Fez our situation might never have been resolved.
> Please take care when journeying on the trains. Trust the hostel staff and consider group tours organised by Funky Fez or official guides.