Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hot Water Anyone?

This morning we woke up to find we had no hot water. Then we found out that the water heater was gushing pretty steadily over the top of the water heater. We have two water heaters actually. So as of a few minutes ago,  I now have a new water heater and that's good because it's no fun being without hot water OR without ANY water for that matter. Which reminds me of a story....

My mission companion and I woke up one day in at the end of December to discover that we had no water. We lived on the fifth floor of an apartment building. The main water pipe to the neighborhood broke and that was the end of the water for everyone in the neighborhood. OK, how hard can it be to fix a water pipe? Apparently it was very hard because we were without water for SIX days!!! Let me tell you, six days without water is a real trial. I learned pretty fast all the things you can't do without water.

You can't brush your teeth without water. You can't wet a rag to wash a spot off your clothes without water. You can't get a glass of water to drink. You can't cook because most things require water to cook. (There were no microwaves then). You can't bathe or wash your clothes without water and perhaps most importantly, you can't use the plumbing.

My companion and I learned how to improvise. We biked way over to the other side of the city (of 3/4 million people at that time) and bathed in another missionary's  apartment. We ate out every meal. We stayed away from our apartment as much as possible because well... if the plumbing is unusable...the air was certainly not as fresh as it could have been.

Everyday we thought the pipe would be fixed. Every night we would return home to discover that we still had no water.

On the sixth night, we returned home to discover that one of the missionaries was there to lug a large container of water up the five flights of stairs for us. There really wasn't bottled water in those days that I remember. That was very comforting for us to have that water and it was a wonderful act of service. Five flights is a long way up to lug water.Well, we got in bed comforted that we had some water for the morning and within about five minutes you could hear the water filling up all the plumbing pipes all over the place. My companion sat up in her bed and with a great big smile said, "好聽!", (hǎo tīng) which means "great to hear." We immediately got up and took advantage of what running water could do.

At any rate, I learned how to live without the luxury of water. We take it so much for granted every day. I can improvise very well now and so I don't get too nervous if there is a water issue.We had two typhoons when I was in Taiwan. I learned that if you have a typhoon coming (or any other water shortage threat), you just fill up your bathtubs and washing machines with water and there's your water storage for a few days. I learned it really doesn't take much water at all to get clean.

For today, I am happy that in about an hour I should have hot water because just the idea of hot water is so nice. And I never take it for granted. :)

Now if we could just do something about the violent wind swirling around my house right now because a cold front and storm are on their way later today, that would be great. It sounds like the roof is going to come off. Maybe I should go fill up the bathtubs. :)

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