Limin' by De Pipe | Yuh is ah Trini

Triniglish|Trinididioms Spoken and Explained #1 | Limin' by De Pipe | Yuh is ah Trini

When I was a young man growing up on the island of Trinidad, not so long ago, water was not piped to everyones' property - that is still the case today but not as prevalent as it was during my childhood days.

The government provided standpipes that were placed next to the roadway and were strategically placed so that one could easily 'tote water home' without having to walk long distances - except when "they cut off the water supply". In other words, you could go with your bucket or whatever receptacle you had to take water home - the oil economy has brought about change, almost everyone has pipe-borne water in their homes today.

Sometimes the line to get water was long and some people came with box carts with many receptacles to fill - the wait was long but not frustrating. You see Trinidadians will take every opportunity to have a lime (hang out with friends) to chat about anything. Liming is considered by many as the 'art of doing nothing'. Just about everything took place at the 'pipe' - clothes were washed and bathing at the pipe was a very normal thing to see. The lime got so sweet sometimes that people forgot about the water and remained at the 'pipe' for extended periods ensuring that they really did nothing but yap and laugh out loudly. 

Everyone back then was also aware that the water police could show up and break up the lime. We always had someone on the lookout for the water police because bathing at the standpipe was something that they tried to discourage. I guess the cold water gushing out of the taps was not encouraging enough to keep people from 'cleaning up at the pipe'.  Surely the men did not care and washing oneself at the pipe was nothing that people frowned upon. On a very hot day, a bath at the pipe was the best way to cool down. However, everyone would take a second look when one of the women 'on the block' decided to bath at the stand pipe - sometimes that did happen. 

The younger kids would always get in trouble for so doing and would get a 'cut arse' on their return home. Times have changed but we can continue the lime here just as we used to do back in the day. The cry is to "bring back dem ole time days" because our reflection of life back then seemed to give one the feeling that living during that period was less stressful than it is today. We fail to realize that these times will indeed become the good ole days for this generation. One thing we know for certain is that they don't have that good ole standpipe to practice the art of doing nothing because in these times the lime has gone sour. We can only hope that liming at the standpipe can be revived if only in spaces like this blog.

Do you have a good standpipe liming memory that you would like to share with us? Well if you do just leave a comment here and it will be posted to the blog.

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