Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Water SAAAAgaaaa. Last Installment. Promise.

LAST Part. It has to be.
Part ONE, TWO and THREE here should you wish. I wouldn’t if I were you.

I’ve been sweeping water out of my apartment now for six hours. And its bedtime.

Josh came running down the stairs. He shall now be known as J-McGuiver. He identified the tinaco. He was sure of it. J-McGuiver took our hose and began siphoning the water out of said tinaco. It belongs to the Stateside Beachgoers from Part Deux, who live below us.
How to bathe: use cup and small amount of water from blue container of clean water. Pour cup over body, scrubbing vigorously. Catch water cascading down body in clear, rectangular containers to flush toilet with later. Ignore extremely dirty bathtub because you don't have water to clean it anyway.
Having lived for three weeks without running water, it was painful and anxiety-inducing to simply let water pour out of someone’s water tank, onto the rooftop, unused. But we needed sleep and sanity. And they had gone back home to the US. So, in honor of making use of the water, J-McGuiver washed his feet with it.
An hour later, we thought we could siphon it into our tinaco. What an even better way to honor careful water usage! J-McGuiver tried to reposition the hose and ended up having to start the flow again, ultimately unable to redirect the water to our tinaco. Starting the flow again, however, was not as easy this time. He sucked hard on the hose for some time. When the water finally came, it brought with it a gift: a mouthful of algae. Side story: he was sick for six days after that, missing all of his first week of English classes at the library.
By 11 pm, the tinaco had successfully drained with no sign of our water-wall ebbing its flow. Huh. We were stumped, tired and soaked. We made a plan to make it through the night in shifts. J-McGuiver was able to redirect the flow of water off the wall with a cereal box and, eventually, a lot of duct tape (called American Tape here, we discovered) which we then flowed into an old plastic suitcase—the biggest container we owned.

Water diversion: first draft.

Meanwhile, I built a wall of diapers (luckily and randomly in our possession) with copious amounts of duct tape hoping to direct the water out into the hallway should we oversleep.

Josh asked for a smile. Apparently this was all I could manage.
Building my diaper wall. You know, normal Saturday night stuff.

With the water redirected, we now had an hour of sleeping between sweepings. I set the alarm for every hour and we fell into bed. I took the first several shifts, emptying the container and sweeping what had leaked out each time. At about 3 am, Josh took over ‘til morning.
2 am selfie, water sweeping duty. Aren't you tired just looking at this photo?
Our plan had worked. We’d made it through the night without going absolutely insane.
Plumber showed up Sunday morning, just before 9. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t been there.
And then we heard the downstairs neighbors, you know, the ones we'd thought had left the country and we emptied their entire water source? Josh went to apologize in a painfully-hilarious turn of events: We thought you were gone so we stole from you, but now that you're here, we're so sorry!

Plumber opened the wall for a third time, fixed the pipe and didn’t bother cementing it again. Third time’s a charm.

For three days we had enough water and nothing leaking from where it shouldn’t. We thought about not moving for a hot second. Then the LandLady had the city shut off the water to our apartment. But that’s another story for another time.