The Palais Amani in Fes, Morocco

Shopping in the souks of Morocco

Travelife Magazine Publisher Christine Cunanan The Frequent Flier

One of my greatest pleasures is to go shopping in the souks in Morocco. The souks are messy and busy, but you never know what treasures you’ll find along the way. Morocco, by the way, is one of my favorite countries because it’s a cacophony of sights, sounds and smells.

One day in the ancient city of Fes, we woke up bright and early for a traditional Moroccan breakfast on a rooftop of the Palais Amani.

Traditional Moroccan breakfast at the Palais Amani Riad in Fes

This is one of my favorite riads in Fes, and we had an amazing view of the green rooftops of Fes from our breakfast table. We were in the city for a few days on a leisurely schedule, and that day we were set to walk the souk on a shopping trip with a local chef.

We had signed up for a tagine cooking class that morning, you see. So our trip to the souk involved buying a live chicken, stopping by a spices store to get some ground spices, and picking up some vegetables. The souk sells everything, you see, so there is a dry area with all kinds of exotic goods. And there is also a wet area for food.


In the afternoon, we wandered around the dry area of the souk of Fes, looking for souvenirs and curios. During our walk, we stumbled upon a crafts workshop in the outskirts of town. Here, local craftsmen worked all day painting pottery and attaching intricate wiring on these items as decor.

As soon as I entered, a bright red ceramic pitcher caught my eye. It was just the kind of souvenir I wanted to remind me of this wonderful trip to Morocco.

A red pitcher from the souks of Morocco

Again, I have so many things all over my house from my travels, which is kind of nice because it makes for endless dinner conversations. But it also means space is running out so I’ve been pretty careful about adding to my “collection,” especially on my last few trips.


This red ceramic pitcher caught my eye stood out among a plethora of colorful patterns on tiles, tabletops, plates and just about anything and everything.   Since it was a tourist store, they quoted me a rather high price at first.

Upon hearing the price, I was ready to give up. I’m sure you know the feeling. No matter how attractive or beautiful, some things are just not worth having at too high a price.


Then the Travel Companion came up to me and said: “You’re not getting it?” He’d seen me eyeing this red pitcher, you see, and now I was about to walk away.

I shrugged. I really believe in fate, you see, and how some things will happen or some will not happen. Things that are meant to be will just come to you effortlessly. Or else they are not meant to be. So I generally don’t spend much time over-thinking anything.

So I replied: “I’m going to walk away. If the man goes after me, quoting a good price, that means it’s meant to be mine. But if he lets me walk away, it just means that pitcher is never going to be mine.


So we left the showroom and were already walking down the road back to the main area of the souk. I’d already half-forgotten about the pitcher, when the man came running after me, shouting out a price that at the outskirts of my budget.

So the pitcher is really meant to be mine after all, I thought.



And with just a little more haggling, the price came down to a comfortable level within my budget. 

This was when I took out my credit card. In my mind, I wasn’t really buying a red pitcher. I was purchasing another memory to remind me of this wonderful trip to Morocco, living a never-ending Travelife.