My country life is proving to be a continuous education. On Sunday I got up and turned on the tap to splash some water on my groggy face. Instead of a refreshing wake-me-up I was greeted by a shallow metallic groan, the sound of empty copper pipes straining for attention. Later at breakfast I discovered the reason why the pipes were calling out their own autumnal ballad. Essentially there was no more water.
Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t an Ice Cold In Alex moment, where I had to find a cold beer to quench my thirst. We still had plenty of water to drink and upstairs there was enough to flush the toilets. But that was about it. The well, or rather the cistern, had run dry.
I felt like such a city boy. How can you run out of water? Surely it just comes out of a hole in the ground somewhere, or a river, or maybe from God? It turns out that water politics in Mani run deep, if you forgive the pun. Our particular village has an issue with water supply. Although we live in the shadow of several mountains, all the freshwater runs off to the east side, which by all accounts has a bountiful supply. However, on the west side it’s a different story. No aquifers or fresh water springs to tap into here. Instead, when you run out, you call a man who arrives with a large truck and an even larger hose.
Even then, it’s not that simple. Sometimes the supply gets contaminated with sea water, so the sweet (fresh) water doesn’t taste all that sweet, meaning you have to get a separate supply for drinking, and watering the plants, and feeding the animals etc etc etc. Needless to say, it’s a precious commodity here, so you adapt your behaviour accordingly. Back in Blighty, I used to love taking luxurious baths, sometimes even forgetting I had run one and letting it go cold. Here, it’s very different. Everything involving H20 is done in a measured way, from doing the dishes, to showering and cooking. Water is scarce here and costs bucks. So you better make sure you use it wisely.
Words of the day
- σαν – like (comparison) – (san)
- προτιμώ – I prefer – (pro-ti-mo)
- βαρετό – boring – (va-re-toe)
- χαλασμένο – broken – (hal-as-men-o)
- χαζό -stupid- (ha-zo)
- συνήθως – usually -(sin-ee-thos)
- πληροφοριές – information -(plee-rof-0-ree-ez)