the good and the bad…which to focus on?

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on March 21, 2011

The still small voice within you must always be the final arbiter when there is a conflict of duty.

– Mohandas K. Ghandi

Living in rural Morocco, one is given the opportunity (irrespective of whether you actually want it) to experience the good and the bad a place has to offer each day everyday.

Today was one of those days.

Little Fatima accompanied me to souk today. I went to most, if not all, of my usual vendors. My dry goods man didn’t have garlic today (blasphemy, I know) so I had to go to another vendor.

Guess how much this vendor charged me fro four measly bulbs of garlic?!


That’s equivalent to the cost of half a kilogram of chicken. How do I know this? Because I bought that too at souk.

Then I went to my local hanut. Spending time outside of my community throws my math (read: dirhams to ryals conversion) skills out the window, so much so that I handed the hanut man too many coins in exchange for a quarter kilogram macacroni.

What did he do?

First, he chuckled at me. Then he returned the excess coins I gave him and handed me my change. Allah bless his parents.

Now, all that happened in less than two hours this morning.

Its evening now and the whole garlic episode bothers me still but I’m going to take the high road. Rather than focus on the one shady incident that happened at souk today, I’m going to focus on the positive: Moroccans who treat me honestly, who know I’m a regular in village, who I exchange greetings, and who look out for me.

Lesson of the day: While that vendor may have profited a little extra from today’s garlic transaction, he will no longer profit from my business. There’s a reason why I maintain customer loyalty with certain souk vendors – it’s because they serve it to me straight.

I’m all about the nishan, Moroccans, the nishan.


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