It’s amazing how many things we take for granted. Until they are taken away from us. Take water, for instance, or rather, take water away, for instance. That’s what happened on Monday morning. Yvonne was about to take a shower when the water all of a sudden stopped. I went to the cellar to check the pump. It was running but made a funny noice, as if it was running idle. It was. And it had been doing that all night, my downstairs neigbour told me. On my way back up I ran into Birte, in the company of mr. M., the house owner. Half an hour later we knew that the whole neigbourhood was without water. We would remain so until Tuesday late in the afternoon, for a total duration of 36 hours. Mathematically that doesn’t sound like much. Thirty six is not much. It’s definitely less than, say, a hundred. Or a thousand. But it does pose a few immediate problems which require some out-of-the-box measures.
Okay, we can do without a shower for 2 days. It’s inconvenient, but it’s not that hot yet, so it feasible. We can brush our teeth and wash our face with bottled water. It becomes expensive if we need to do this for a prolonged period, but we’ll get by. The plants will have to do without until better times come along. We can decide not to wash up the dishes for a while. It’s a mess, but again, if it doesn’t last too long, we’ll survive. We don’t use water anymore for cooking and use the omnipresent olive oil instead. That never runs out. Hopefully. And who needs to drink water when there is wine available? So, in the face of our complete surroundedness-by-no-water-at-all (to paraphrase Onslow again) we become creative. There are a few bodily functions though, the result of which are usually and promptly washed away with water, that refuse to be put on hold. I’ll spare you the details, but trust me when I say that that’s when we become very creative.