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Getting Lost and Asking for Help...and paying

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Paris, France
Level Contributor
899 posts
77 reviews
Getting Lost and Asking for Help...and paying

Sometimes you'll arrive in your respective town in Morocco and you won't know how to get to your hotel or riad through the confusing alley ways and streets. Or you may decide to head out to do some sightseeing and you get lost. Or you might be heading back to your hotel or out to a restaurant but you can't seem to find the place. The medinas can be confusing, and sometimes you will have to ask people for help. Sometimes getting directions is not enough, because after one or two meters, you're lost again, so you'll need someone to walk you there.

After travelling through various regions of Morocco (Rabat, Essaouira, Marrakech, Fes and High Atlas), I found that you can never know when people expect you to pay them for help. You are most likely to have to pay when they walk you to a destination in Marrakech, but even there a few times individuals walked us to locations without expecting any pay.

-Sometimes people will expect no payment.

-Others will only help with the expectation of being paid, but they won't tell you up front. In fact, they rarely ever tell you up front.

-Sometimes people say they'll help you without expecting any payment, and then still ask for some kind of payment.

So if someone is prepared to help you, especially a younger man, be willing to pay. Ask them up front if they're expecting to be paid before they proceed to help you. Do not continue unless you agree on an amount. You will pay 5, 10 or 20 dirhams at your discretion (10 or 20 is most common). 40 dirhams and up is a rip-off. To ensure you don't get ripped off, email ahead of time and ask your riad how much the helpers are paid in their area for giving directions or helping you to your riad. Tell your helper to take you directly there. Sometimes they take the long way around or stop at shops of friends first.

Hope that helps

http://moroccotravel101.blogspot.ca/ (more details)

Stockholm, Sweden
Destination Expert
for Morocco
Level Contributor
4,504 posts
79 reviews
1. Re: Getting Lost and Asking for Help...and paying

I would never pay for help. The best thing to do in case one gets lost is to go to the nearest restaurant / cafe or even any shop and ask there. But never pay for to get help. It is not normal, you do not do it at home so you should not encourage people in Morocco to pay for such things. If someone want to be paid, go your way and try to find the right anyway.

But never pay - that's my advice!

Castril De La Pena...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
Level Contributor
6,584 posts
52 reviews
2. Re: Getting Lost and Asking for Help...and paying

As you walk along, turn around from time to time to memorise the scene for the return journey, then you don't get lost. But if you still get lost, regard it as a opportunity for an adventure exploring the unknown. You'll eventually find you way but in the meantime will have a great time.

It's how my wife (who used to get lost often) now has such a good knowledge of London. :)

Best advice for a woman who needs directions is to ask another woman, not a man. As Candice wrote, Morocco is a "country full of awesome grandmas": www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa…

Destination Expert
for Morocco
Level Contributor
8,009 posts
63 reviews
3. Re: Getting Lost and Asking for Help...and paying

The owner or manager of your Riad would never encourage you to organize a "guide" to take you anywhere by yourself. What strange advice from the OP. If you are in any doubt they would either help you book a taxi or get one of their staff to walk you there if it wasn't too far away.

If you are out and about by yourself and need some help with directions always ask someone in a shop, bank, café etc...basically anyone who is working, and they will happily give you directions without any expectations. Never pay for "help" if you can avoid it.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
899 posts
77 reviews
4. Re: Getting Lost and Asking for Help...and paying

You didn't correctly read my post Shimmin. the riads of rabat, Marrakech and fes have all acknowledged the helpers and have suggested standard rates. I didn't say that they would encourage it.

I personally don't see an issue with paying for help. Sometimes for someone new to the area, simply being TOLD directions from the women or shop owners can sound overwhelming, especially for longer routes and with the language barrier. It is helpful to have someone to walk you there

Aside from the ones trying to intimidate you for more money or scam you, these are people making an honest buck and I am not going to demonize them. They have been very helpful and I don't mind sparing the change to make my life a little easier and in turn perhaps their life too.

My advice is if you are to recruit the help of these people, be clear about what you will pay up front and ask them to take you directly there.

Destination Expert
for Sun Valley, Ketchum, Beach Vacations, Idaho
Level Contributor
9,146 posts
323 reviews
5. Re: Getting Lost and Asking for Help...and paying

don't worry wanna, some posters read the post the way they want to .

thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts. everyone has their own opinion, thanks for sharing. any information is welcome.

6. Re: Getting Lost and Asking for Help...and paying

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