Friday, February 08, 2008

Suburban life

Not having ADSL is bad enough, but this week we endured five days of (mostly) no running water. By mostly I mean we had it for brief periods, usually overnight, and without much water pressure. Calls to the water company promised a fix on Wednesday, but the water cut off at nine in the morning Thursday and did not come on again until five this afternoon. Unfortunately, our usage of bottled water shot to all time highs (hey, you gotta wash somehow). Since we can’t flush toilet paper and I’m one of those “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” types, I thought maybe we could survive without flushing, but it seems that too much yellow over too long a time leaves a not so mellow smell. Honestly, I don’t think hell smells so bad.

Sure, I sound like a bit of a princess who can’t deal without steady running water for five days. But there are reasons developed countries no longer have widespread cases of certain diseases, and one of those reasons is running water and the resulting improvement in hygiene. It did make me appreciate the water all the more when it came back on, but it also made me realize how hard it must be for people in third world countries who don’t even have an expectation of running water – people who don’t have the luxury of buying bottle water to do their washing up and cleaning. I guess an argument I’ve heard is “they don’t even know what they are missing since they’ve never had running water” but I don’t really think that matters. What matters is the ignominy of living in a 21st century world where there are plenty of countries that have the means of providing third world countries with the infrastructure to get water to villages that have none, but because it is an expensive and unprofitable venture, it doesn’t happen.

Anyway, it is good to have the water back again. I’ll try not to take it for granted anymore.


traveller one said...

I'm learning these lessons too! I send you my sympathy. And you don't sound like a princess... water is a basic need of humanity.

Cheryl said...

I'm so glad that your water is back on! I forgot to talk about the old bucket-type life of the bathroom here. Our toilet broke the first week that we moved in and we tried the yellow-mellow rule ourselves but you're right, I'm sure hell doesn't even smell that bad! You're funny! Talk to you soon!

Kat said...

Hey ya! I hear you. When I lived in a village, we walked to the river to fetch water and then lugged it back in a wagon or carried it. It was a special day if someone had a car.

In Athens, my landlord didn't pay the water bill after I gave her the money to do so while I was in Miami, so when I came back the water was shut off. Since I needed to go to work, I had a nice neighbor who allowed me to fill up a few bottles to bathe; I tried to cope best I could with the toilet when not at work. Luckily it only lasted 3 days while I waited for someone from EYDAP to turn it back on. No apologies from my landlord either, but I guess it wasn't her immediate problem. :)

Too bad you didn't have snow, you could have melted and used that.

Rositta said...

We use that system at our cabin and it doesn't bother me overmuch. Our visitors on the other hand aren't crazy about the system. Last fall in Greece we also had plumbing issues and the "no toilet paper" rule was in effect. As to the third world countries, they could have water if the money the developing sent for aid wasn't going to the warlords to sock their weapons caches, don't ya think?...just think here...ciao and hope things get back to normal for you soonl.