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Jun 18th 2009 7:54AM My first experience of 'the hustle' caught my by surprise as well. Our first night there we wandered down to the main square in Marakech, Djemaa el Fna, to absorb the vibrancy of the evening. The place was packed with locals and tourists alike, the former hustling for all they're worth, the latter often looking slightly bewildered.
We were approached by a group of women who were set up to paint Henna on your hands - they were surrounded by picture books containing amazing dye art, which had caught our attention. They grabbed our hands and began drawing unrecognisable scribbles on them, before demanding money. When we refused to pay they became a bit irate and we ended up giving them a token payment and walking away.
The lesson we quickly learned is that you have to keep to yourself and be polite but very firm when saying, "La Shukran".