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Morocco Overland: From the Atlas to the Sahara - 4WD, Motorcycle, Van, Mountain Bike

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  #1  
Old 12 Jan 2010
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Tipping for having car "looked after".

We've been to Morocco a couple of times and encountered the guys who claim you owe them money for "looking after" you car when it has been parked up, either at hotels, restaurants or visitor attractions.
We even had one guy wash our car while we were away and was holding his hand out when we returned!
We are going again in February in a 4x4, and wish to be fair without getting fleeced. My question is "What is a reasonable amount to tip one of these guys for "looking after" your car for a couple of hours or overnight?"

Dunworkin
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  #2  
Old 12 Jan 2010
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At one place in Moyen Atlas, a real toriust trap we had the watchman, the faux guide, the washing guy and the beggar all reaching out their hands. It can get to you.
I think 4 DH is reasonable for the dude with the
yellow jacket watching the street. And 10 Dh for overnight secure parking. YMMV.
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  #3  
Old 12 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priffe View Post
At one place in Moyen Atlas, a real toriust trap we had the watchman, the faux guide, the washing guy and the beggar all reaching out their hands. It can get to you.
I think 4 DH is reasonable for the dude with the
yellow jacket watching the street. And 10 Dh for overnight secure parking. YMMV.

Why a tourist trap? Please explain better, cuz in case, we'd avoid it if we'll go to Morocco instead of Tunisia...
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  #4  
Old 12 Jan 2010
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This is normal all over Morocco to the point of being unavoidable! Most of the time however it is a valid service worth paying for. I agree with 'priffe' - expect to pay 3-4Dh for general parking and about 10Dh for overnight. Small amounts, not worth being bothered by.

The only time I came unstuck was at a city hotel in Rabat, where the on-street parking was metered. Firstly a guy offered to get a parking ticket for me from the machine, this was helpful as I didn't understand the meter. For this service he expected a small tip and cheekily, also kept my change. Another chap then offered to watch the car overnight, and to be fair, when we came back from our evening meal he was still there, so money well spent I thought. However, sometime during the night there had been a changing of the guard, so a different bloke was there holding his hand out in morning.

If in doubt offer the pay the tip upon your return to the vehicle, this will probably not cause offence and will guarantee that the 'attendant' stays around.
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  #5  
Old 12 Jan 2010
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It does seem to have become more common in recent years (decades). When I was touring Morocco in the late 70's the only place where it was carried out on an industrial scale was in the centre of Marrakesh and you felt that the money you handed over was for the guard not to steal your bike.

They can take the mick though. I left the bike in a hotel car park with an overnight guard and when I came back the next morning the top box, panniers etc had been forced open and loads of stuff stolen. The guard still wanted his money
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Old 12 Jan 2010
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You probably get what you pay for, if you pay someone to watch your stuff he probably was still watching as agreed while it was being pilfered
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  #7  
Old 12 Jan 2010
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I grew up and still live in South Africa and we have a culture of people holding out their hands.

I may be in the minority, but unless I made a contract with someone to do some work, I will not pay them!

I wrote a little something on the problem here: “Gifts” for the locals...
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Old 12 Jan 2010
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Hi Dawie, thanks for the post about handouts to the locals. I totally agree and don't have strong views about it either :-) except perhaps that handouts take the receivers' (will-)power away. An educated Maasai man (i.e. Maarusha) told me in Tanzania: "Charity without responsibility is the virus perpetuating the disease of begging so prevalent in my people."
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Old 13 Jan 2010
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Thanks for your comments, guys.

10 Dirhams overnight and 4 Dirhams for a shorter stay sounds ok to me.

Dunworkin
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  #10  
Old 13 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gottoride View Post
"Charity without responsibility is the virus perpetuating the disease of begging so prevalent in my people."
That is AWESOME!!!! That's it! I'm having T-shirts printed with that one!
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  #11  
Old 24 Jan 2010
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Best plan is to agree to pay, but make it clear you'll only pay on your return if everything is okay.

Have done that very successfully for years now.

Cheers, Sam.
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  #12  
Old 29 Jan 2010
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hi.
pls note that in morocco those watchmans are legit ,registered and chartered
Those old dudes with the stick and the copper badge in the blue overall are ex-policemen that are entitled -by law!- to be official watchmans.
They *should* produce you a ticket after payment also.
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  #13  
Old 11 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gottoride View Post
"Charity without responsibility is the virus perpetuating the disease of begging so prevalent in my people."
Sounds like bankers in the UK.

We had people watch are bikes every where we went in Morocco, the only time we needed the guy was in the Riff mountains when I looked out the window i saw someone trying to steel my bike. I ran down and sorted it, on my return into the hotel I saw our guard asleep.

10 dh was about the price over night.

Pete
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  #14  
Old 11 Feb 2010
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Parking Charges

In fact 90% the guys you see with their hands out are legitimate.
This is how it works:
The guys rent a section of road and pay to do so, this could be a side of the street, a particular parking area etc.
They have already paid for this before they stand there.

When they hold out their hand as you leave they are asking for money for the following:
Guiding you into the space
Keeping an eye on your car
Making sure anyone parking near your car does not hit it
Assisting you when leaving the space

They are not begging!

If you don't pay them, you are ripping them off, they have paid to rent the space. Do you park for free in the cities where you live?

If you pay more than 2 dirhams to park you are obviously either one or both:
1) Stupid
2) Incredibly wealthy

The rates quoted previously over night are correct for a car, but for a bike the maximum is 50 dirhams if you are solo and reduces to 20 dirhams per bike, if you are a group.

If you object to paying a guy 2 dirhams for parking so he can feed his family (remember most Muslims don't drink) don't go to Morocco, go somewhere else where you can live for free and not contribute to the people who will make you most welcome and help you if you let them.

I hope this clears this up.
Safe riding/ driving
Tim
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  #15  
Old 20 Dec 2010
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Bah humbug
the beggar is a beggar, not providing a service
faux guides are everywhere in Morocco where tourists go
they should be cut short and not be paid
the guardian watching the parking lot can point them out to you
there is a learning curve to discerning the legit from the illegit
I'm still learning
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