Drawn in by the nasally sounding flute, I found myself staring right into a black cobra's beady little eyes. The great beast of a serpent struck and missed me by a hair. Just kidding. I really wanted a photo of a snake tamer. Knowing everything has a price in Morocco, I asked, "how much for a photo?"
"Don't worry, photos are allowed." Answers the tamer wearing a fez and a small green snake as an accessory.
"No, really how much for one photo?"
"Please, Please take a photo."
At this point, I figured I would snap a photo and hand him a 10 dirham coin. I wish I had another lens so I could get both the tamer and the snake, but Meggan with the other lens was watching from an excessive distance away. In retrospect, this was about the right distance. Good call Meg. So, I squatted down in front of the cobra with his head and upper third of his body well above the rest of his coiled body. I took the photo, which didn't even have good lighting, but I wasn't going to pay for two. As I'm standing up, I feel the weight of something smooth on my neck, then my arm and then my other arm. I look down to find a really big snake (not poisonous, I think?) wrapping around me. It was so very nice of the snake tamer's helper to let me test drive one of their snakes.
"No, I don't want to hold your snake" I told the tamer helper, while he literally tied it on me.
The snake tamer came to rescue me, "250 dirham!"
Long story short, I got the snake off me for my original 10 dirham estimate, but not without many words. This is their scam, so watch your back or you'll get a big 'ole boa crawling on you. We had a similar circumstance when an owner told his monkey to jump on Meggan's shoulder.
Where were we? Probably the craziest place we've been so far, the Djema el Fna. This is the central square in Marrakech which is one of the busiest in Africa, if not the world. It is also a UNESCO world heritage sight. Don't let our scamming street performers deter you from checking it out. This place is absolutely filled with life. Walking through the square you will find musicians, snake tamers, monkeys, henna artists, magicians, acrobats, jugglers and more! Another less known performance includes a guy dressed in a lab coat sitting at a table filled with teeth and pliers. Apparently, he will pull someone's teeth for the entertainment of others.During the day this place is busy and at night it's a mad house. For how famous the square is, it was refreshing that it has not driven away locals. Everyone goes to the square from the young to the old. The food here is also another form of entertainment. There are several stands of fresh dates, figs, nuts etc. There are also stands with fresh orange juice. (Warning: some vendors dilute the juice with tap water. If you want juice make sure you watch them squeeze the juice directly in your cup.) Escargot? Yes, they have that too, cooking in butter. There is also several tented restaurants in the square. We tried the tent with the largest locals crowd, number 31. It serves flat bread stuffed with grilled sheep sausage. It was great. Put on your game face, get ready to barter, and don't let them frazzle you. Go here and enjoy the bazaar, it's fantastic!