Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I can now add a new item to my list of “first-time experiences” that I’ve been accumulating in India. This morning was the first time I have ever washed my hair in a rainstorm. Literally – in a rainstorm, not during a rainstorm. There I was at 6:30 this morning, attired in mesh athletic shorts and a t-shirt, standing on our porch and leaning out to stick my lathered head into the runoff from our gutter.

Why, you ask, was I doing this? Was I having a moment of hippie-ness and trying to be a conscientious environmental steward? Well, no. I was showering in the great outdoors because we are now going on day THREE of no water at my humble abode. None. No showers, no washing dishes, no flushing the toilet. No nothing. I have no idea why we are high and dry but I suspect it has something to do with all the construction that’s been going on at a near-by apartment. They messed with our pipes to put in their pipes and something seems to have gone awry. Yesterday I just went to work dirty but I simply could not face another day without a shower. I had planned to go over to a neighbor’s house and use her shower but Fate conspired against me.

Just in case it wasn’t enough of a hassle to have no water, this morning we also had no electricity. And that meant that my neighbor’s shower wouldn’t be hot since we have electric geysers and if I’m going to take a cold shower I might as well use the free stuff falling from the sky. Which it was (and still is, as a matter of fact) in a torrential flood.

So I am clean (except for my feet which are mud-caked from the slog to school) but grumpy this morning. That rainwater was really really cold and I suspect I didn’t get all the shampoo out because I showered in record time. I sent a curt e-mail to the Person In Charge Of Such Things inquiring as to when we might expect running water and invoking the name of my sick housemate in an attempt to encourage speed. Being home sick with typhoid is bad enough. Being home sick with typhoid and no running water is just inhumane.


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