Sunday, January 16, 2011


A few days ago, our neighborhood was without water since there was a break somewhere in the pipes. Water was turned off on Tuesday morning and turned back on Wednesday around noon. Late afternoon, our water tank was about half full, but that didn't create enough pressure for the water to actually come into the house. That didn't happen until Thursday morning.

I just want to insert here that I still haven't figured out how to do the unshowered look "cutely". You know those people that you can go camping with and after 5 days in the wilderness, they still look cute? That's not me.

Back to the agua situation. So, my darling and oh-so-ingenious husband put a spigot on our water tank (low to the ground so the water didn't need to be pressurized), and at last we had water! If you can imagine what 1 1/2 days of dishes in the sink looked like... well, I forgot to take a picture, so you'll just have to imagine. But, yeah. We were running out of things to eat off of and drink out of.

Dish washing took a little longer and looked like this:

But it was actually kinda fun. It made me think of a simpler time, and how if people who lived all the time without running water saw my way of washing and rinsing... they would probably snicker into their shirtsleeves. I'm sure it was a very inefficient method--but, the dishes got washed. Even if I had to re-wash a bunch since the bucket Rey had filled with water also had been used to put gas into when he was fixing the car the other day. Ooops. So that's what that weird smell was....

We also were able to have one of these guys full of water in the bathroom:

That meant we could flush. Manually. I never knew about that kind of flushing until I came here. Of course, I've dumped mop water and stuff down the toilet and noted that it flushed... But, the first time I came to Mexico as a wee and impressionable lass of 18, I learned of this often used technique. We were at a restaurant chowing down on tacos, when I used up 50% of my Spanish vocab at the time and asked: "Dónde está el baño?" I was taken to the tiniest of rooms at the back of the restaurant, barely enough room to shut the door behind you, and stood in line behind a couple other ladies. When it was my turn, I self-consciously shut the paper-thin door, noting there were about 3 other ladies waiting their turn.

When it time to flush, I realized I had a problem. This toilet had no tank on the bank, hence--no "flusher". I looked around the bathroom several times to see if there was something to remedy the situation, but all there was nothing (I'd even had to bring my own paper). I finally poked my beet red face out the door and pointed at the toilet... How did one say "flush" in Spanish?? I made some kind of hand motions and said "How?" The woman in charge motioned to a huge tank of water just outside the bathroom door. On top was floating a maybe 2-gallon bucket.

I got that I was supposed to fill the bucket up with water and that was supposed to be a miraculous solution. Trying to put on the "I-know-what-I'm-doing-here" face and noting that the wait line was even longer, I went back in with my little bucket. I tossed the water in the toilet (first asking: "Should I throw it in the front or the back?" I did half and half). Let me tell ya. Nothing happened. I took a deep breath, put the bucket back in the tank and high-tailed it back to our table. I wanted to say "Sorry" to the people behind me. But, I was already mortified as it was.

Good news: I can now manually flush along with the natives. Haha.

So, that was a free story from the life of Liz.

Back to the actual topic: No water at the Sánchez home.

Bath time went down like this:

Noah loved it. Aleni preferred to enjoy from afar:

So, that's what we do when there's no water around here.

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