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1.14.2009

1/14 Water! :D

After nearly a week without it, I had running water today! Lhumdullah!

There’s no light that flashes or any other indicator that tells you when water is flowing through your pipes. All you can do is turn the knob and see if anything comes out of the spigot. During these cold weeks, when the pipes freeze as often as not, I’ve developed the habit of leaving my spigot open whenever I’m home. That way, when the pipes thaw, and water is released, it’ll flow into the banyo (large basin) I’ve set under the tap. The sound of the splashing water can be heard everywhere in my apartment, any time of the day or night, so it’ll never overflow the banyo before I discover it and turn off the tap.

Back in the warm months, water was on every morning for a couple of hours. Sometimes 9-11, sometimes 8-12, sometimes 10:30-1…you never knew, but it was always morning(ish) and always for at least an hour, and usually two or three. During these cold months, the water schedule has gotten more random. One day the water popped on at 3pm, and was on for 24 hours; another time, it came on at 6pm and was on until I fell asleep.

This morning, around 11:00, I heard the delicious sound of fresh, clean, (OK, chemically-treated, pathogen-free) water pouring into my banyo. I immediately stopped what I was doing and ran to fill up every water container in the house. A waterless week, even when interrupted by a trip into SouqTown, meant that I was down to my last 5 bottles (about a liter apiece), the bottom half of the kitchen cistern, and the bottom two inches of the water-to-flush-the-toilet-with banyo. So I’d been getting a little anxious.

Once everything was full of water – all fifteen or so bottles, both 5L teakettles, the whole cistern, and every banyo in the house – I moved on to washing a week’s worth of dishes. That was satisfying. :) Then I poured a gallon or two of water down the bit l-ma (squat toilet), refilled the basins, and scrubbed the bathroom floor. I’ve never been a big fan of cleaning, but when you can’t do it for days at a time, it becomes an indulgent luxury, which makes it a lot more fun. :)

Things that I haven’t done since the water cut off:
* Dishes
* Laundry
* Wash the floor
* Fill my 1L hot-water-bottle before bedtime
* Have more than two cups of cocoa per day
* Cook big meals

Things that I haven’t done in the past few days, when water was getting thin:
* Cook at all (I’ve been living on sandwiches, leftovers, and care-package-snackfood)
* Have more than one cup of cocoa per day (and not always even one)

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