Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Blind Man's Rose Water from Rustaq

If you are overly familiar with Rustaq, i.e are from there or have family there or worked there, you may have been familiar with the blind Omani man who kept a shop behind Rustaq hospital for many years.
His shop was indeed, no more than the flap of a tent, but Omani rose water "ward" and honey were bestsellers, along with produce fresh from farms, fruits, spices... and grains. Even though I had always been amazed by this independent man, I hesitated to write about him here on the blog, for fear somebody might try to trick him somehow. For like many who knew him all the years, far longer than I, the mystery of how he kept count of the money you gave him remained a mystery.
For the old bills, were not marked. You cannot feel a difference like the currency now. And while there will be other places to pick up rose water to scent the bath with, or to make cream (and how refreshing IS rose water ICECREAM powdered with pistachios, yes?), there will likely never be such an intriguing shop such as his to do so from anymore. For sadly, the Rustaq rose water man died we were told. May Allah forgive his sins and grant him Jannah ameen.
I don't know his family, but I for one will be sad that the wonderful mystery of how he always knew exactly what bill he was given will no longer be part of my comings and goings from Rustaq way.
Did you know the blind shop-keeper, the rose-water man of Rustaq who dealt in that and honey?

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