The Waterman | Trinidad & Tobago Good Old Days

A short story submitted by: San Diego Lee

Do you remember the old days toting water from the ‘stan pipe’?  Most kids, especially me, hated that chore.  We would bathe at the ‘stan pipe’ before getting dressed for school in the morning.  When several kids, all boys of course, were at the ‘stan pipe’ that was real-time hasikara (trouble) and the main cause for wasting water.  We would find some stupid ways to waste water: spraying it at each other, spraying it to create rainbows, or even to watch ‘batimamselles’ (dragonfly) lick at the water.  Anyway out of thin air will pop the water man (water police) who would chase us down.  We would scamper off into different directions. Occasionally some kid might be in the middle of soaping and would manage to slip out of his grip.  Looking back I can't remember what he did if he caught anyone.  He didn't write tickets or take you down to the police station. After all in those days we were scared of police including the waterman and respected authority in general.  That was then.

The high point of the water wasting season was during school breaks. One would show up at the ‘stan pipe’ to conduct your favorite chore (toting water, Yuk) and there would be a line to get water.  Of course you would look to see what was causing the slow pace at the pipe.  Then reality would set in and it became a serious steupsing session.  The Water man struck and had the last laugh.  On this faithful day he came very early that morning and swapped out the ‘pipe’ (faucet) with a pump style faucet… what a nightmare!  It takes longer to full your buckets, no more spraying and no more chases until after the school break.

Well we sometimes beat that by bathing by the next ‘stan pipe’ if the regular pipe (faucet) was not replaced.  Ironically the ‘waterman’ lived in our neighborhood with his wife and no kids and of course. Maybe that was the reason he was so hard on us or then again he was simply doing his job of preventing the waste of water that was just pure fun for us.  He worked for WASA (Water and Sewerage Authority) and back in the day they enforced the rules.  I wonder whatever became of him.  I guess he became unwanted with all the financial cutbacks, a dinosaur or relic from the past because most people in the neighborhood got running water in their homes.

Post a Comment

Your comments can also become a Post!