Michael and I have been traveling now for 37 weeks, 19 of which have been…
We left the van and went to the Sunday Souk in Sidi Ifni (try saying that three times fast!). The souk is a big marketplace, which boasts vendors from near and far, selling all sorts of things. There are so many stalls, and each one is very specialized; there’s the veggie guy, the olive guy, the spice guy, the clothes guy, the miscellaneous kitchenware guy, the jewellery guy… We prepared ourselves for many stops on this grocery shop.
We stopped at a veggie man and began! The vendor handed us a plastic bin. The idea is that you fill the bin, then you pay by weight of everything together. Cool! We bought 2 potatoes, 3 zucchini, 4 beets, 2 tomatoes, and 3 carrots. Phew! Veggies, done! We continued our walk. We found a chicken man, and figured we would find eggs here, but realized that the chicken man only sells chicken — you choose one from the pen of live chickens, he weighs it, and then takes it behinda tarp, kills it, and prepares it for you. Huh. We didn’t buy any chicken today. We DID however find a fruit guy at the neighbouring stall! We bought 1 mango, 3 oranges, 4 kiwis, and 3 avocados. We walked on and found an olive guy. I like the olive guy because he lets you, nay, encourages you to taste all the different varieties of olives. We did! And we bought 250g of a beautiful preserved lemon and parsley marinated green olive, and 250g of crazy flavourful, and shrivelled up black olives.
Next stop: the spice man. The spice man sells many spices in many forms. For example, here you can buy turmeric roots, turmeric seeds, or ground turmeric. Here, you can buy full henna leaves, henna seeds, ground henna, or henna paste. Here, you can also buy garlic bulbs! We bought 3. Then, we finally found the egg guy — that’s all he sells — and bought 12 beautiful fresh eggs.
We found a banana man, who sells bananas by the kilo. In order to make up a kilo, we had to buy 10 bananas. They aren’t big, but 10 seems like an awful lot of bananas for two people. We walked past the preserves guy and he let us try some Moroccan figs, and natural almonds. Oh man, we just had to buy some! They sure are good salesmen at this souk. We walked past another spice man, and asked if he sold salt. A man buying spices told us we would be better off just going to a grocery store and buying a bag of saltfor 10dh. We thanked him for the advice and chatted with him a bit. He is Berber, from the mountains, and comes in every week for the souk with his friend. He insisted we come to their table. We did. His friend, an old, weathered mountain man, makes rings out of Euro coins and cedar wood. They were stunning pieces of jewellery. We asked how long it takes to drive in from the mountains. The men laughed. “It takes one day on the camel…”We laughed too. We explained to the old man we did not want to buy anything. He assured us that he was just happy to have met us, two young Canadians. He thanked us for saying hello and gave us a gracious welcome to Morocco.
I took to my spreadsheet, the beautiful one I made to keep track of our day-to-day spending (I call myself a highly organized cheapskate), input all the spending we did at the souk today, and took a look at the total. We spent 47dh, which is about €4.19, which is about $6.34 CAD. For all those veggies, fruits, eggs, and preserves, not to mention a kilo of bananas. My goodness. I do LOVE the Sunday souk!
Update: We ate the entire kilo of bananas in three days.