Dry Monday

May 08, 2007 By: erik Category: Colindres, Musings 733 views

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Colindres is growing at an incredible rate. There are currently at least 10 different apartment buildings under construction. Due to all the construction work, occasionally, they have to cut off the water supply to certain neighborhoods. This happens about every two months, and it’s rarely off for more than two or three hours.

Yesterday, the water was turned off to our house from 8:00 to 16:00. That’s eight hours!

When this happens, you normally notice the pressure drop significantly, and then you get about 3 minutes of weak faucet time before it stops completely. I used this to wash my face and hands in the morning, and my hands once during the morning. And then the pipes were dry.

For lunch, we had leftover chicken from the birthday party last weekend. This required a few drops of water to reheat, which I had available in a filtering jug that is normally full with a liter or so. By chance, the electric kettle had enough in it for coffee after lunch. So the water shortage didn’t affect our food consumption at all.

Where I did notice the effect was in general hygiene. I didn’t go to the gym in the morning because I knew I wouldn’t be able to shower upon return. By the time the water came back on, the toilet really needed flushing and the kitchen was piled high with dirty dishes. These were the only inconveniences we experienced.

It really got me thinking how much we first worlders take running water for granted. It’s just always there. I was going to suggest that my readers try an experiment to avoid using running water for eight hours (waking hours!) like I had to do yesterday, but none of you would or could do it, so I’ll be satisfied with this: The next time you touch a faucet, try to have a little “Man, that’s cool how the water comes right outta there when I turn that little knob!” moment. Then you can go back to worrying about whatever pyramid-topping social issue you were worried about before.

  • What a cool idea. One thing to enjoy about those little inconveniences that occur with a power cut or water shut-off is how much more you do appreciate it when it does come back.

    Until last summer we had an internet provider whose service would go out often enough that you’d be tempted to say “all the time”. It’s scary, and a bit embarrassing, to realize how much we take that “always available” luxury for granted, too. But with running water that’s safe to drink, we don’t even consider what luxury we wallow in.

  • Uncle Neil

    When your grandmother flew into Thunder Bay, Ontario to visit Barb and I last year she adapted well. Joyce managed three days without running water, bathroom facilities, or a change of clothing 10 miles in the bush. We would not have brought her there except we needed her to cut and stack a lot of hazel brush. No I mean if it weren’t a perfectly comfortable ordinary way to live every day. I have seen where people who are not used to it do need to learn how to take care of themselves to stay clean, comfortable, and not waste resources . Something more interesting to me in today’s world is that so few people experience seeing not one other human for significant periods of time.

  • So let me get this straight… You took my dear old octogenarian grandmother, your mother, out ten miles into the middle of no where and, not only deprived her of common amenities like a bathroom or running water, but put her to work cutting and stacking brush for three days!?!!?

    You’d better call her on Mother’s Day this Sunday…

    I still get visitors finding my blog entry about that visit when searching for “four wheelers in the woods” pictures.