Casualty of Development

As a child growing up in Morocco, my mother used to take me to the medina on the weekend to run different errands that she couldn’t get accomplished during a busy week at work.

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.



3 thoughts on “Casualty of Development

  1. Everything changes. Change happens, whether we like it or not.
    Now that water is readily available, and a an urban water delivery system has been operational. There was no need for watermen any more. It’s not even a hygiene issue any more. It’s just that watermen cannot compete against bottled water. It’s a losing proposition.
    One can still find them in rural souks. I met quite a few over the years, but the writing is obvious on the walls: They are an extinct species that is swimming against the tides.
    Other traditional jobs are quickly disappearing too. It’s the price of development, as you rightfully pointed out on your post.

    Posted by mouka | January 27, 2012, 11:16 pm
    • Women are more encouraging, uratnsednding, and nurturing in general than men and consequently their children will usually turn to them initially in an argument or difficulty. Children will feel freer to discuss any harms they are having and to talk about their life in general with a parent if they are nurturing than if they are not. College students are more likely to tell more information to their same-sex best acquaintances than to either parent because they feel like they can identify more with their same sex friend and there is a large age gap difference between them and their parents. So, I agree with the above. I don’t know if this will win best point, but that is my take on it.

      Posted by Edof | May 23, 2012, 10:09 pm


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