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Don’t Leave The Souk Without It

June 2024
1min read

I greatly enjoyed Nancy Shepherdson’s “Credit Card America” (November). The ubiquitous nature of the credit card was made evident to me during a trip to Morocco several years ago. After many hours of shopping in the endless maze of tents and stalls that constitute the medieval bazaar of Marrakech, I discovered that I had almost totally depleted my supply of both cash and traveler’s checks. Although I carried both major bank cards, none of the souks displayed any indication of acceptance of credit cards. Indeed, to my Western eye, the vendors, stalls, and the wares themselves appeared to be firmly anchored in the Middle Ages. I explained my predicament to our guide.

Undaunted, he led us a few steps up a dark passageway, opened the flaps of a dusty tent, and revealed to us … a bank! In no more time than it would normally take to make a deposit back home, I received a cash advance of several hundred dirhams with my Gold MasterCard. To this day the entire episode retains the surrealistic aura of an ad writer’s dream!

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