You’ll never die of scurvy in Marrakesh

Djemaa el Fna at night
Djemaa el Fna at night | Photo by Lauren Girardin

In between awkward, head-jerky naps on the monarchy-run CTM bus from Essaouira to Marrakesh, Todd tells me what has him the most excited for Marrakesh.

“They have these guys that squeeze fresh orange juice for three dirhams a glass in the main square. Randy said it’s the sweetest orange juice he’s ever had.”

Randy being the globe-trotting Randall Wood, who co-authored the travel book Moon Nicaragua along with Todd’s brother Joshua. Randy, his Nica wife Ericka, and their new baby, Valentina, had dined with the Berman family days before we left Long Island for our current Muslim hot-spot. Randy and the then-pregnant Erika had just toured Morocco and Todd had picked their brains for tips on the Red City.

After finding a hotel in the medina and locking our packs, we headed to Marrakesh’s boisterous main square, Djemaa el Fna in search of juice.

Todd and his fresh juice
Todd and fresh juice | Photo by Lauren Girardin

The juice guys, holed up in pairs on carts decorated with fake wagon wheels and covered in layers of fluorescent oranges, spotted us from 300 yards away. While they shouted something in Arabic that I could only assume meant “Come hither!”, they never let up twisting orange halves on a juicer just below our eye level.

Todd ambled over with a huge grin on his face, on a beeline for one cart from the dozen we could see. He ordered his juice, asking for one fresh pressed with no ice (the pre-squeezed is sometimes mixed with squash juice, and ice could bring on another round of Cipro).

When Todd tried to hand over a Dh 100 note for the Dh 3 purchase, the juice guy shook his head, not breaking his barkering through the entire transaction. Todd looked at the juice, then looked at me. I stuck my hands in my pockets and shook my head. No change.

Todd promised we’d return later that day with the dirhams and for more juice. The juice guy nodded and put a sticky glass of juice on the counter for Todd. It was indeed the sweetest we’d ever tasted.

He became our one-and-only orange squeezer for our stay in Marrakesh. We’re dedicated to our juice slinger.

Photos from Marrakesh, Morocco

If you can’t see the photo slide show above, view the photo set on Flickr.