Before going to Rissani, I had never been to a souq. I thought that it would more or less be like the market there is five minutes from where I live in Italy, but it´s not.
So, let´s start by giving a short definition: a souq is an open-aired big market. If at the beginning they were held outside cities where caravans used to arrived, little by little they have been moved to the center, where it was easier for everyone to get to it.
What is really typical about a souq is the bargaining between the seller and the buyer. It always goes like this: they want you to pay way too much, you suggest a very low price, they say that it´s not possible, you act like you are going away, they call you back with a lower price, but it´s still too much, you say another, they shake their heads laa laa mademoiselle, you don´t care and continue, they do the same, and at the end you both will find a good price.
It´s part of the game and yes, it might take a while, but it´s quite funny. If you don´t have time to waste, just go to the shops with the prices outside: you might pay a little more, but you will not have to argue with the seller.
And you never guess what you can find in a souq. From the weirdest spices to mobile-phones, from tasty tea to long clothes, from fruits to alive animals, from colorful shoes to huge carpets. There really is everything that you need, that you don´t need and that you never even knew existed.
My favorite part of these huge markets is the one where you can find alimentary products. Here there always are beautiful containers full of very colorful powders, you walk smelling spices and seeing new types of herbs.
But overall, the most incredible aspect about a souq is the amount of colors. There are so many shiny colors everywhere you look: everything that you see is colorful. And it makes me so happy!