For Those Planning to Visit Maraqua
Hello, hello! I am a native of the beautiful underwater land of Maraqua, and after many years of watching our tourists flounder about (sometimes quite literally) and make avoidable mistakes, I have decided to try my best to help by writing this guide to visiting Maraqua. In it I will share tips and give you heads-up on things you may not have been aware of, so that you can have the best vacation to the best land in Neopia that you can! Read on for enlightenment in the form of five of my hopefully helpful pieces of advice.
1. Many don't realize that speaking underwater can pose difficulties if it isn't something you're used to. They all prepare for the difficulties of breathing in the depths of the sea by buying those enchanted Seaweed Necklaces, but then they try to ask "Hey, which way to the Ruins?" and it comes out sounding like "Glub glub glubbity gloob." While of course amusing to passerby, this can be somewhat alarming and frustrating for our poor travelers! The trick is to try not to breathe so much while you talk; try to speak more from your mouth than your throat, if that makes sense. It takes practice but just being aware of the problem will surely make your experience in Maraqua more enjoyable! Don't worry if your speech is still a little bubbly after practicing, though—those that work in the establishments most frequented by tourists are entirely used to it, and will almost certainly be able to understand you anyway.
2. The Ruins of Maraqua make up a hauntingly beautiful historic site that you can't miss, but please do be aware that a Slug Monster lurks about the Ruins! While no harmful incidents have ever been reported, it is a very large creature and so there is a very real potential for danger. The Slug Monster is afraid of bright lights and loud noises, though, so just to be careful bring along some Easy-Light Super-Safe Fireworks in case the green beast decides to show up! The fireworks are specially made to be used underwater and are commonly used by the caretakers of the Ruins, and it's a great way to scare the Slug Monster off without hurting him in any way, as he is, after all, the only known Slug Monster in the world and as of yet harmless. There's no sense in being risky just because the Slug Monster has never caused trouble before, though! As noted, he is a large creature and apparently fairly cranky as well, and I'm sure you don't want to ruin your lovely trip by being the first to be eaten by the fellow.
3. Sure, Kelp is a wonderful, classy restaurant and a great place to spend an evening. But don't forget that there are many other fantastic local eateries, even if perhaps they aren't famous! In all honesty, I've only ever eaten at Kelp twice despite having lived in Maraqua my whole life, and I can't say I feel I've missed out. It's nice, of course, and an interesting experience, but it is extremely hard on the wallet and to my uncultured taste buds and barren bank account it's simply not worth it. I have to say I prefer the food of the more normal restaurants, and how much less it costs doesn't hurt! Try going to one of the small places that serve up the most authentic Maraquan food you can get (most of us aren't rich enough to regularly eat the sort of fancy fare they serve at Kelp!), and save money while eating what is in my opinion some of the best food out there.
4. In Maraqua it is considered very rude to collect sea shells. I understand that this is a common thing to do in many other places, but it simply isn't acceptable here. It's something like picking flowers from someone else's yard, I believe. Much of the time any shells you come across in the city will have been placed there quite purposefully, and even then not it's not really okay to take bits of the landscape. I have seen too many tourists stopped by our police force, with their pockets and paws brimming with sea shells! It's a shame because it's usually clear that the tourists just didn't know they were doing anything wrong, and it's a bit of a hassle for all involved to try and return the shells to where they had been before. If you'd like to take home some shells as souvenirs, visit Collectable Sea Shells! It's a really great little shop with many pretty and interesting Maraquan sea shells for sale, and I'm sure all of us—yourself included—will be happy you're not accidentally running off with someone's décor!
5. The tours held through some portions of King Kelpbeard's castle are quite well known, but fewer are aware that for a bit of a fee you can arrange to meet with King Kelpbeard himself! As the King is very busy you will need to schedule your meeting a ways in advance and you will only be allotted a number of minutes, but in my opinion this is something that's really worth it, even if perhaps pretty intimidating. Don't come to Maraqua and miss your chance to speak with our wise ruler! He has always been somewhat distrustful of "surface-dwellers", it's true, but it's said that since this opportunity has been offered and he's met with so many outsiders, he's beginning to become more accepting. Generally during these meetings you will ask a question or two, and maybe even receive a question or two of your own, depending, so come prepared! Think beforehand about what you would like to ask or say so that you can fully appreciate the moment when you arrive. I've been a couple of times myself, and I like to respectfully ask to hear about King Kelpbeard's experiences with the Destruction of Old Maraqua and the subsequent building of New Maraqua that he so bravely led this land through.
Well, there you have it, my attempt to make your excursion to lovely Maraqua all the better! But don't go yet, I have one more piece of advice for you that didn't seem quite worthy of its own numbered paragraph but that I still feel you will appreciate: Maraqua is pronounced marr-ack-wa, not mar-awk-wa, mar-uh-kwee-uh or any of the other creative pronunciations I've heard over the years. As a Maraquan, the strange ways people mispronounce the name of my homeland provide me with an endless source of hilarity, but I thought you may like to be saved the embarrassment of mangling the word.
With that last kernel of information out of the way, allow me to say that I sincerely hope that those of you planning to visit Maraqua in the near future have found this useful, and that you have a wonderful trip! Goodbye for now, then, dear reader, and may you make fewer blunders than the average visitor to Maraqua.