Stopping by the waterman to get a drink was part of the routine. Looking back, I am quite amazed at the trust we bestowed upon the man: his water gourd was made out of goat skin, his goblets were of copper…He rang a familiar bell and every thirsty passer-by drank from the same cup…Yes, I did too. Back then, germs didn’t exist. I couldn’t do it today, but clearly, it doesn’t matter….
For the waterman has left the medina. I see him every morning on my way to work walking through the car traffic with his empty gourd. The goblets of copper are gone. His face is stern. His eyes stare as if the world around him was far from him. He walks between cars honking frantically at the red light…he just walks and walks, without asking for a dime. But if you ever had a drink of his foolish water as a child, you will stop and give him a few pieces of money…because you know that he would rather wear his colors, carry his goat skin and ring his bell for all the thirsty children walking down the medina. But there he is, the waterman slowly disappearing amongst honking cars and a world racing for the future…he has no aim…just another lost piece of the past.