Friday, October 28, 2011

The King and I

Every business in Morocco has one. And no, not a business license. Most homes have one too. And no, it's not a bathroom. Cause a lot of houses still don't have a bathroom here. But what do they have? A picture of King Mohammed VI. And I know you're thinking, with all the revolutions in North Africa, Morocco is still ruled by a king? Yup. Oh, there was an election in July of this year to curb some of his powers. But, the elections are controversial and even though his power is reduced he still controls the armed forces, the judiciary, foreign policy and he's also kept the role of religious leader too. But this post isn't about that. It's about those pictures of him.



The thing is, there is not just one official picture of the king in circulation. There are lots of them. There are a variety of poses, angles, formal and unconvincing informal shots to choose from. So no matter what your business is, you can have a picture of the king that somehow endorses your business or reflects your outlook on life.

Here are just some of your choices:

Here's the king drinking super sugary Moroccan tea.

I saw this particular photo in a restaurant. I personally think it would be great for a dentists office with all that sugar and all. Not that most Moroccans go to the dentist. That being the point.



Here he looks like he's on the verge of puking up his lunch.

This really humanizes the king. I think this one is great for doctors offices and the meat kebab guy. Really anyplace where unrefrigerated food is sold and exposed to stray cats. So really, everywhere. I figure this one is probably a top seller for that reason.



Here he is looking like a q-tip.

The perfect choice for baby supply stores, cosmetics counters and costume shops. Not that there are costume shops here...



This one is my personal favorite. It's deer huntin' king.

As if he took down that buck! Maybe he did on the wii, which is why I think this should be on the wall of an electronics store. (Although I found this picture on the wall of a film store. Maybe it's promoting it's photoshop skills.)



Oh, there are so many other pictures. I wish I could show you them all. And, I wish I had pictures of all his photos to show you. They totally fascinate and amuse me. I'd never really thought about where people got these pictures before. That was until I saw a stack of them at Aswak Assalam, which is a local grocery store. And I was so freakin' excited. Like way too freakin' excited because I'd never seen them for sale anywhere before. And I knew I had to have one of my very own!



So I perused the selection and there was one, just one, of my first choice left. Yeeeessss! I put it in my cart, finished my shopping and headed to the cashier. The young woman rings up my purchases, but the picture doesn't have a price tag on it. Price check, aisle 6! She calls for assistance. Three phone calls and 10 minutes later someone comes. They look at the picture, then go to the stack of pictures, none of them are priced. Then that guy calls another guy. They deliberate and inform the cashier they can't sell it because they don't know the price. Whhhhaaaaaaatttttt? I thought this was a store and the goal is to sell stuff. Right? That's so freakin' stupid and I'm pissed. And I'm rarely pissed.

So I go back in and try to get the attention of the pricing guys or a manager, to no avail. They ignore me. So, I head back to the cashier, the only person who's attention I can get. I ask her to get someone. I tell her it's ridiculous that no one will help me, don't they want to sell the picture, why can't you just make up a price and that someone would sell me one off their own wall at the medina. But I'm speaking English, so she has no idea what I'm saying. And as my friend Sara says, it's not what you say, it's the tone you say it in. And mine isn't friendly. All she knows is I'm a crazy foreign lady who won't leave her line. And I'm pretty sure I'm intimidating her. Yesssssssss! I feel bad that she's my pawn. I wouldn't do things this way in the states., but then again I wouldn't have to do this in the states.

Finally, after a half and hour stand-off in the checkout line and another two price guy later...



I won! I won! I won!



I now have my very own picture of the king in my house! I think this picture totally says cool casual king. Or you could say, the future's so bright I gotta wear shades. But I think that would be completely inaccurate under the circumstances. And I'm especially glad I got the last one before he's gone. I mean it's gone of course...

16 comments:

TexaGermaFinlaNadian said...

How funny! Can you imagine everyone having an Obama picture in their house back in the US?? I would have totally chosen the rugged king. Nothing says I'm a omnipotent ruler by posing with a dead deer.

The Loerzels said...

I totally would have, unfortunately they didn't have that one as a choice. In fact it was pretty slim pickings...which is weird in itself don't you think? Hmmmmmmmmm.....

Thom Brown said...

But they're not classic Ray-Ban Wayfarers - so not too cool!

Denise said...
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Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I love the fact that you are taking full advantage of your time in Morocco. The only place were I've seen something similar is Ireland in the late 1960s, where Catholic households all had pictures of the pope and John Kennedy. Not, however, or their own leaders.

moroccomama said...

You do realize it's against the law to make fun or in any way ridicule the king.

Dwija {House Unseen} said...

I think if the kind doesn't want to be ridiculed, he should stop doing ridiculous things- like posing with a buck he didn't shoot. Or making laws forbidding people from ridiculing him.

Anonymous said...

Well... How much did you're picture of the King end up costing? Or will you catch more flack for answering that?

The Loerzels said...

The low, low price of 180 Dirham (aprox. 20 bucks US) gets you a framed picture of the king. Yes, FRAMED. Get 'em now before they're gone!

MuMuGB said...

A funny post. We really do live in different countries...I wouldn't buy a picture of the Queen. Maybe i am not that British, after all...

Jaime Brown said...

Tears. Real tears. I'm in a cafe (within eyeshot of a shoe-shine man, by the way) and I'm dying laughing. When I saw the Fay-Bans (Fake Ray-Bans) I lost it. Your smart-assedness is VERY much appreciated! I guess you put the ASS in Asswak Assalam! hahahahah!!!!

Penelope J. said...

Back in the 40s and 50s - after WWII, a lot of English households had pictures of the King or Queen, but not since.

Sounds like more of a custom in Morocco - a matter of national pride - we still have a King. Love how you actually had to force the issue to get them to sell you a photo of the king. What did they think you were going to do with it?

Love your humorous way you have of pointing out little details.

Joy Page Manuel said...
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Joy Page Manuel said...

The Q-tip look...my favorite!!! This is too funny, Marie! Yet another aspect of your colorful life in Morocco :-)

Lalia said...

Oh love the one you chose!! Casual King, just one of the guys. It's perfect! lol

cath said...

I have drawers full of photos of the kids I never had time to hang, much less a political leader. Love that you can humanize with humor. Funny post...:D

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