Tuesday 26 February 2013


Have you ever had to forcibly go without something which then reminds you how Western and spoiled you truly are. Or perhaps spoiled isn’t the right word, but downright blessed. Over the weekend, a water main burst in our street and our building lost water. And I tell you, by the end of the weekend I realized that I would not fair very well in a third world country, let alone the desert.

When I went out in the morning and saw the lake that was forming in our street, I didn’t think much of it aside from the fact that there was a football game (at the stadium mere feet from the burst main) on later that day and I remarked that the water company had their work cut out for them. But as all was well inside our flat, and I was busily preparing for my aunt to arrive, I figured it was just one of those city things that happens and I was happy to ignore it.

Upon my aunt’s arrival, we went about our day as per usual – which also meant dishes were accruing in the sink, meals were made, and water was going to be needed in our near future. Unbeknownst to us, by the time it came to bath time for the King, I went to turn on the tap and nothing came out. I of course then turned on the sink tap thinking, or shall I say hoping, that it was just the bath (knowing it doesn’t work like this, I’m not a total moron). Like any Einstein I did this about three times, as I was hoping it was just a momentary nightmare, only to soon confirm that fact that the water was not working full stop.

I went downstairs and shared the news with my husband and aunt that we were waterless. A lot of tap turning on and off ensued (I think they were going through the same ‘please don’t let this be true’ episode I just went through). I think the only person that was happy about this news was the King who was happy to forgo his bath time. Of course as we had just made dinner this is when things got very interesting. The dishes seemed to multiply over the span of ten minutes, we all suddenly had the burning desire to wash our hands, and the kicker, it dawned on us that not only could none of us bathe (my poor aunt had forgone a bath that morning as she figured she could take a long hot soak at my house) but the toilet would not be flushing any time soon. If there is anything that will fill an OCD person’s head with fear, it is the idea that three people will be using a toilet and won’t be able to flush it (let alone wash their hands); especially a big strong man that likes to eat loads of food. God help me.

Of course this moved my husband into Defcon 3 mode and he set about finding every bottle of water in a 3-mile radius (I think he proceeded to buy 30 bottles of water in case we were without water for the next three days). One thing I will say about him, he operates in a crisis like this with calm methodical precision. When it comes to crises that tap into my OCD, well, I’m not so calm. All I can see are dishes, toilets overflowing and unwashed bodies. Not a great combination to calm my nerves.

Needless to say by the next morning, we were all contemplating washing in a fire hydrant in the street, or at least I was planning to use the bathroom anywhere but in the house. My aunt decided it was probably a good time to head home – with me almost hiding out in the boot of her car – and my husband decided that the water bottle arsenal we had was not quite doing it, so he took the King out to buy more. By the time the water came back on that afternoon, I have to say that I have never been more excited to see a kitchen tap working in my life, and trust me, showering never felt so good.

So in honor of this, I’m going online right now and finding a water charity in Africa to donate to and am counting my very profound water blessings! 

Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed