I asked this elderly gentleman for permission to take his picture before leaving Marrakech for Casablanca. Earlier, he had invited me for mint tea, a traditional Moroccan beverage, and assured me that the tea here was better than what I would find at the hotel! Indeed, compared to the hotel’s tea I had, the tea he brewed was much richer and more aromatic. After finishing our tea, I offered him some small change as a token of appreciation, but he shook his head and seemed somewhat offended, saying that I didn’t need to do it for the money, leaving me slightly embarrassed and apologetic.
As I captured his photo, I noticed him sitting in silence, with a thoughtful and somewhat downcast expression.
At 11 o’clock in the morning, I departed from Marrakech to Casablanca by train. Around midnight, my bed in the sleeping car shook violently for about 20 seconds, but in my groggy state, I decided to sleep through it, only to wake up the next morning to news of a severe earthquake in the High Atlas mountains, which had a significant impact on Marrakech. Many houses in the historic district collapsed, and many people were injured or killed.
Suddenly, I remembered the pensive face of the elderly man, and I could only hope that he had survived the disaster. It made me realize how unpredictable life can be and how fleeting our moments with others can become. Perhaps, one day, I’ll have the chance to share another cup of tea with him.