New Year’s Day: Water, Water Everywhere . . . But Not Here!


            New Year’s Eve kept me and Little Flower at home for a couple of reasons. 

            First was the fact that the rain made it a very unpleasant night to go out, even temple watching.

            Cold and wet are two things little Chihuahuas definitely don’t like, especially those who refuse to wear warm winter doggie clothes.  LF has a great dislike for anything that goes onto her body, even a collar.  Clothes are definitely on the hate list.  Once they’re on her, she stands stiffly at attention, refuses to budge and sulks.   Her wardrobe contains various styles, colors and materials, from fleece to cotton to knits, all bought in the hopes I could find something she’d like to wear.

            Nada, or rather meidei (may-day) as we say in Sichuanese.

            On a night like our New Year’s Eve, it wouldn’t have mattered, anyway.  She’d have come home so filthy from the muck along the sidewalks and roadways, that she and the clothes would need a good washing.

            Which brings me to the second reason we didn’t go out.  Washing the dog, or anything for that matter, was going to be a problem as we’ve had no running water.

            Wednesday, around noontime, the water was turned off.  A majority of us assumed the workers on campus were doing some water repair work and thus we’d be without it for awhile.  But 6 p.m. had quite a few of us gathering around in the stairwell or outside, questioning each other  if we had water or not.

            Those across the hallway from me had water.  Those on my side didn’t.

            My elderly neighbors underneath me started phoning, along with others, only to have no answers from the school’s building manager’s office.  We had a 3-day holiday, starting at 5 p.m., and everyone had gone home.  The workers do live on campus but without orders, they aren’t about to come over here and help us out.

            According to gathered news, the 5th and 4th floor apartments above ours were having leaking pipes yet again so the water was turned off on our half of the building.  

             It’s been over 24 hours and we’re really not sure if it’ll be today, tomorrow, Saturday or Sunday when things will get back to normal.

            In China, we don’t drink water out of the tap as it’s unsafe but many do boil it first before drinking.  That also isn’t too safe due to all the rust, metals and pollutants found in the water itself. Those of us who are more concerned have purified water jugs delivered to our homes for drinking and cooking.   These cost around $1.30 each for a 5 gallon container and last about 1 week.

              This is what I have and what I’m using (quite sparingly, I might add) for washing dishes and sponging off in the shower.  But my elderly neighbors downstairs are frugal people.  They’ve boiled water for years in China and aren’t about to change their habits, even though their adult children have tried on several occasions to get them to do otherwise. 

            With no water from the tap, they are now collecting water from outside.  There is a rusty, leaking pipe attached to the outside wall and they’ve placed a bucket underneath to catch what they can.  They’ve already gotten 2 bucketfulls which they are using to wash dishes, cook with and flush out the toilet.

            And here I thought our 2009 would be off to a better start than last year.  Think again!

            From Little Flower and myself:  Here’s hoping your New Year’s Day is a good one, with plenty of running water and Ping An to go with it.




About connieinchina

I have been in the Asia region for 30 years as an English language teacher. 28 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my 13th year in Luzhou Vocational and Technical College. The college is located in Luzhou city (loo-joe), Sichuan Province, a metropolis of 5 million people located next to the Yangtze River .
This entry was posted in Tales from Sichuan's Yangtze Rivertown, Luzhou. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to New Year’s Day: Water, Water Everywhere . . . But Not Here!

  1. leilei says:

    I just come to say thank you,as I really learn a lot of useful expressions from your diary here.Happy New Year!

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