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03/25/2013

Bartering Goods

"Do you have a souvenir for me? A hat? An English book?"

I racked my brain for what I could possibly have to exchange with this Amazigh trader.

I was trying to buy a carpet. But it was a little too expensive. So he was offering an exchange of goods. My brother had just purchased some things and paid using dirhams, a used pink t-shirt and some sunglasses.

I did have a copy of Catcher in the Rye in my book bag. Byron had lent it to me to read and I wasn't quite done with it yet. I asked him what he would do with a book.

"Read it, of course!" Duh. Of course. I should assume that this Amazigh man would read classic English novels.

Eh, why not? I'd get Byron another copy of Catcher in the Rye.

"Deal." His face broke into a huge smile and we shook hands. Did we just barter goods with a Saharan trader? Yup. Yes, we did.

Today we're heading out into the desert with his family. He seemed disgusted that we were headed to Merzouga, the tourism destination for those seeking desert treks. He instead urged us to go with his family. So we'll be joining his nomadic family on a three-hour camel ride into the desert where we'll see the sun set, sleep in Berber tens and share in their meals and enjoy their music. Then we'll head to sleep under the inky blackness of the the Sahara desert and awake to the majestic sunrise. A wonderful breakfast and then another camel ride back. Well, here goes :)

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