Tuesday, March 27, 2012

They Say When It Rains, It Pours

As soon as we realized that our water had been shut off, it was the weekend. You know, that time when the water company is closed. Fortunately, our rental has a beautiful thing called a cistern. Back-up water, baby. But it only lasts so long without being refilled. We took to incredibly short showers, only flushing for numero 2, no laundry washing, no mopping and minimal dish washing. In brief, we were smelly slobs. A glorious weekend it was.
Monday morning, Josh called.
"Ummmm... our water has been shut off."
"Let me see. Yes, here you are. So you paid on Wednesday and your water was shut off on... Friiiiiday. Huh," WaterReceptionist said, slightly confused.
"Yeah. Can you send someone out?" Josh asked, happy that their system actually reflected reality.
"Will do."
We waited. And waited.
Somehow mid-afternoon arrived before the water guy. Josh called again.
"Yeah, someone was going to come and turn our water back on?" Maybe they got lost.
"You're on the list. They're on their way," responded WaterReceptionist.
Monday night, we started to check the cistern every hour, noting the sinking water level and the complete absence of OnHisWayWaterGuy. Tuesday was Naw-Ruz. One of the best days of the year--our Baha'i New Year and Josh's birthday. Its a celebrate good times kind of day. Naturally, we had invited a great many people for deliciousness and general merriment. Tuesday morning, Josh called. They're on their way, en camino in fact. We waited.
Two hours later, Josh went to make an in-person appearance. They couldn't witness his good looks or experience the full force of his charm over the phone. My friend Melanie came for a visit around noon with still no sign of OnHisWayWaterGuy.
"Calling does nothing," she said knowingly, in her eighth year of island life, "You need to just give any Dominican RD$150 and part of a PVC pipe. You'll have your water back in no time." Seems dodgy. And yet, a plausible solution.
Soon to be truly out of water and with a great many guests en camino to our house, that option was looking tempting. I went for my wallet. Josh arrived just in time to stop me. He's my Jedi Knight, fighting the temptations of the Dark Side to which I constantly succumb. We had paid our bill, though. Eventually.
Did he charm WaterReceptionist? Nope. Apparently the office closest to us is not the one that serves our area. Josh needed to go to the company's office located on the other side of town. Silly Josh.
We celebrated everything that night, except for an abundance of water. A sweet guest started washing dishes and I insisted (far more than I would have normally) that she stop. I didn't say why, but she finally conceded when I physically removed her from the kitchen.
Wednesday morning, Josh left the house before everyone was up (if you know Josh, you know that's serious). Two hours later, he dragged himself through our gate, sweating and exhausted. The heat has officially returned to our fair city.
"We'll see what happens," he took off his hat and plopped onto a chair with a glass of water, grateful to drink during the day again.
Six minutes later, OnHisWayWaterGuy transformed: HeIsHereWaterGuy! Everyone in the house came out to greet him and his speedy motorcycle with cheers and applause. Despite the shock of such a welcome reception, he managed to turn our water on again and happily showed Josh how to do it himself in the future. NiceWaterGuy.
Eight minutes after NiceWaterGuy left, we heard the familiar roar of a motorcycle approach. Another WaterGuy! We looked at him, confused (and hoping he wasn't here with bad news). Turns out, all WaterGuys are given a print-out of addresses where water should be shut off, turned back on, metered, etc.    and are then sent off into the big world. It seems that this system (the same to-do list for all WaterGuys printed once a week) allows them to not only complete work that is no longer necessary (we paid two days before they got around to our shut-off) but also to arrive at destinations that have already been serviced. Sweet.
As JohnnyComeLatelyWaterGuy sped off, laundry was started, the kiddy pool filled and I went for a Turkish bath. Whoosh, water! The conservation train could wait a day or two while we indulged, right?

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