Snake Charmers, Marrakesh
Could not resist the chance to replace a previously 'computer eaten' pic taken in East Africa with a very lively snake last year and here is the evidence, although I have to say this fella was very sedate, making the picture a fairly easy one to take.
The whole day and every day you hear typical music to make snakes dancing. Men sitting in Djemma el Fna and catching all tourists, which walk around. In a second you have the snake around your neck and can take a photo.
Hubby loves snakes so he had to stop and check them out in the Djamaa El Fna Centre Square. I had warned hubby that it was going to cost a tidy sum...but he had to get a good pic with his new toy :o) .....In fact I reckon I outdid him in the photo stakes this time lol.
Anyway, of course after these snake charmers relieved hubby of a couple of hundred Dirhams they conned the poor dear into kissing the snake for good luck.
Good luck?!! .... haha. Poor Howie was sick for the next 2 weeks..... but he still managed to somehow enjoy our trip out into the desert.... with the help of an extra couple of loo rolls in the baggage... :o(
Tip..... Don't kiss the snakes!!!
One of the must do things in Marrakech and one of the most careful things you must be ready for ..... The Jemaa D'Fna square is full of people reading your fortune, people walking around with monkeys and various other types of entertainment both during the day and night ...... but the most interesting part is the snake charmers .....
These snakes have there fangs taken out and have the venom taken out of them, regardless a cobra is a cobra and extremely impressive .... once you see how they grab them you'll understand what I mean ....
These snake charmers are all nice and polite when you first approach them and then they become aggressive and verbally abusive when it comes down for money !!!!! They have been doing it for centuries in these parts of the world !!!!!!!
First tip ..... before approaching them .... determine how much money you are willing to spend for the pixs you want ..... don't be dumb or stupid to pull out your cash in front of them, they won't think twice in taking your money !!!!!
Second tip .... the longer you stay the more money they want ... so determine how long you want to stay and see the snakes .....
third tip .... make up you mind if you want these guys putting these snakes on you ..... if they put them on you, there gonna want more money ...
fourth tip ...... DO NOT, WHATEVER THEY SAY DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR CAMERA UNDER ANY REASON !!!!!! because if you do, the they will NOT GIVE IT BACK TO YOU UNLESS YOU PAY THEM THE AMOUNT THEY ASK FOR !!!!!!!!!!
Fifth tip .... DO NOT BE SCARED TO WALK AWAY AFTER YOU GIVE THEM WHAT YOU DETERMINED WAS THE PRICE THAT YOU ... NOT THEM WANT FOR PIXS !!!!!!! There is plenty of people and police in the square at all times, so they won't physically attack you, but they will certainally yell at you and try to embarrass you !!!!! JUST WALK AWAY !!!!!!!
So now ... let me tell you my story on my experience .... My cousin and I had agreed that we would pay them 20 dirhams about $2.50 US for a couple of pixs ... we also determined not to be there no more than 5 minutes ... and that we wouldn't allow them to put the snakes on us ... I had my camera and IPHONE ready to get pixs and possible video, but as soon as we walked up .... one of the snake charmers started playing the flute and just like an "Indiana Jones movie the snake came out of the basket"
I was so impressed I was frozen to take a photo, so I missed the chance .... he then grabbed the cobra and placed it 5 feet from me ... I stepped back and took about 5 photos with my camera and another couple with my IPHONE ... and before we knew if, one of these guys had placed a snake on my cousin..... MAN THESE GUYS ARE GOOD !!!!! the guy also reached for my camera all friendly like here "I take photo of both of you" I refused, and he kept saying "Give me camera, I take good photos" ....My cousin and I were speaking in Spanish, and these guys knew exactly what we were saying .... after seeing the snakes and taking a couple of more photos, they asked to be paid ... we weren't there no more than 3 minutes, so I extended my hand with a 20 dirham bill and the guy started to scream saying that it was 300 dirhams for photos about $37 US ... I laughed at him and again try to give him the 20 dirham and now his friends had gotten up and started to surround me .... I kept my cool and started to walk away ... and then I made a mistake and spoke English to my cousin..... and suddenly these guys became more aggressive saying "american "f" you pay me, American "a"hole pay me ..... I spun around trying to get away from them and only the main guy followed me with his hat at my face saying pay me 300 dirhams .... my cousin was getting a bit nervous since now the snake charmer was making a scene ... but I kept my cool and again offered the 20 dirhams and this point the guy took it and yelled at me "American "f" you ...we hate you" .... I laughed and continued walking !!!!! I GOT MY PIXS FOR 20 dirhams !!!!!!!!!!!!!! My biggest fear was this guy might spit on me, but I had sunglasses on and I had bottle water in my bookbag so I was ready to wash my face if that would have happened .....
So just be careful when approaching these guys ..... some time later as we walked by at a distance we saw just about the same thing .... but this time they had surrounded a couple of girls ..... These guys are good .... I can't stress that enough ...... keep your cool and have a plan ..... but it was soooooooo coooooooool to see a cobra come out of the basket just like a movie !!!!!!!
At the big square in Marrakech you can take pictures with one or a few snakes aroud your neck. Make sure about the price before you take a picture.
I payed about 5 Euro