If your water stops flowing, your electricity conks out, you get no dial tone, or your cable TV is on the fritz, you simply dial a number and someone who doesn’t speak English raises the level of your ire another couple of degrees as you try to get service resumed. It’s different here. And so am I. I’ve already complained to the Ministerio de Gobernación about closing our post office. Now, I’m after the water supplier…or lack of supplier.
Every few weeks, Margarita empties the pila, our cistern, to clean it. Today, with the cistern empty and our large tub filled, there was no water from the tap or shower. I didn’t bathe or shave. Not the worst thing that could happen. But every time we used the toilet, we had to ferry a bucket of water from the big tub to the commode to flush. That and the breakfast dishes quickly emptied our water supply.
I did what any red-blooded American in the U.S. would do and Googled ANDA, the water company. I’ve not yet found them on line but WickiPedia has an interesting article you might care to peruse. It gives you an insight as to how things work here…or don’t…and why. Meanwhile, it’s lunch time. Time for Margarita to be creative. Can’t boil potatoes or rice or beans. Vamos a ver. We’ll see.
We who grew up in Piscataway or Edison and can look back at some of the
inconveniences that money and politics have overcome rarely get to
experience how 90% of the world lives. We can read about short life spans
and epidemics of diseases that are rare to extinguished in the U.S. But
until you’ve lived with or near the abominable conditions depicted in the
article, you can’t really appreciate the world we live in.
I found ANDA’s web page and wrote to them. Coincidentally, as I signed
off I heard water running into our cistern. I ran out and told Margarita
how influential Don Royer is in getting things done the American way. We
talk up to whoever is in charge rather than pray and wait another
generation. My little joke for the family. Still, the government is doing
what it can. Education of the population only goes so far if people or
their municipalities can’t provide sewers or clean water.
I won’t drink tap water. I hate to rinse my mouth with it after
brushing my teeth. I don’t feel comfortable eating off our dishes washed in
it. I insist that anything Margarita cooks in water be boiled
significantly. I have bottled water to make ice cubes and to drink. I tell
my family to drink it. I can afford 63 cents for a gallon. But they keep
doing what they’ve been doing. They are chronic coughers and snifflers.
I’m the healthiest one in the house. Margarita thinks saving money is more
important than using it as God gives it to stay healthy and live longer. I
just don’t get the mind set of the majority of the people here. But I love
it and I love what I do. I wouldn’t trade El Refugio for a free ride in the
best of retirement communities.