A visit to Marrakech is always exciting. I love the sounds and the smells (yes, even the horse wee in the Jma El Fna); the sight of flea-ridden kittens begging scraps from the food sellers, and the snake charmers who generally don’t realise they aren’t charming anyone because it’s such a revolting sight. Imagine then, on top of all this hoo-haa, the further excitement of actually being arrested!

You might be wondering what being arrested has to do with my job as a marketing and events professional? It was precisely while I was doing my job that I, and a female colleague, were indeed arrested.

Our crime? Being with a domestic ground agent who was showing us restaurant venues in and around the heart of the Jma El Fna.

His crime? It was that he couldn’t show the Gendarme his tourist guide license. The Gendarme, unwilling to return to the parked car just one street away, where the said license had been left, promptly arrested us all and marched us off to the central Gendarmerie!  No amount of persuasion, arguing, reasoning or anything else was good enough.

So, what do you do if you get arrested in Marrakech? My recommended get-out-jail-card is to recognise and think about some of the top human motivators.  These are:

  1. Money
  2. Power
  3. Love
  4. Greed
  5. Recognition

Opting for the “recognition” motivator (mixed with a bit of power!) we smiled sweetly, and invite the Chief of Police to dinner that night in one of the highly visible tourist spots. It’s such a small community in Marrakech that there’s recognition of who is with who, and there’s kudos in being seen doing business with Europeans which itself suggests power.   Maslow – you rock!

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