While the west depends on alcohol, the social lubricant of Morocco is a green tea prepared with spearmint leaves and sugar. John Richardson bought this traditionally ornate teapot from a market in Marrakech, and ended up scoring more pot than tea.
“I’d travelled halfway around the world to see an English girl I’d met in Australia, but after arriving in London, and being offended by the weather, I quickly hatched a plan to find us some sunshine.
A few days later and we’re sitting on the rooftop of a riah in Marrakech. It was beautiful, but I was feeling a little defeated, because I’d tried to score some hash from an old guy at the markets to impress this girl with my worldliness.
I’d been told by a kid at the hotel this guy would help me out. When I arrived, I gave him an awkward greeting, salam alaikum, but he didn’t even look up. I tried again, but no response. Nervously, I walked right up to him and signaled that I’d like to smoke. He smiled and handed me a teapot. Worried I had the wrong guy, and in a bit of a panic he might get me busted, I produced a wad of Dirhams and bought it.
Back at the hotel, the girl had been waiting patiently, and I didn’t have the courage to tell her I’d failed, so I handed over the teapot, as a consolatory gift. She looked at it, slightly confused, opened the lid, and smiled as she fished out a small black ball from inside. Instantly, my cool status was reinstated, and we headed back to the rooftop.
It’s a bit hazy, but I remember a full moon over the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, in the distance. And the medina below being alive with food hawkers, snake charmers, gemstone salesman, and pick-pockets. I remember looking at this beautiful English girl and thinking the omens were good – she might be the one.” – John Richardson.