Young dog, old tricks

Since coming to China, I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter a lot of modern technology that I’ve never encountered in Manila, or instances with technology that I’ve never had to endure when I was living with my family. They do say that living abroad gives you the chance to experience new things. In this blog post though, instead of experiencing something new, I was forced to re-do an experience that I haven’t undergone in a long time.

So, knowing what an insomniac I am, my body clock is unusually abnormal. Sometimes I’m asleep really early, so I end up waking unbelievably early; sometimes I’m asleep really late and end up waking up mid-afternoon of the same day. In my old apartment, I had no problems with water usage, whether or not it’s evening, morning, or dawn. I can take a bath, do my laundry, clean, whenever I felt like it. Imagine my shock when the day before yesterday, after a cleaning session and a cooking session that had me smelling and covered in whatnot, I was all-ready to have my post-midnight bath and was in the shower when lo and behold, the only thing coming out of my shower head was trickles of water – not enough for a bath. I freaked out, wondering if it was because of my water bill, or something else. I probably spent about 10 minutes figuring out what to do when it finally hit me, this is what I needed to do if I wanted to get into bed at all (since I wasn’t going to plop into my bed dirty).

While moving into my cousin’s apartment earlier this month, I noticed that they had an old-style heater, the one you plug into a socket and then dip into a pail of water and wait to heat. Yeah, we had one of those in my parents room, so I was quite familiar with using it. But the thing I was grateful for most was despite not having enough water to take a bath using the shower, I had a pail full of water, which was a habit I learned from my parents who said that it was always good to have a full pail of water on-hand because if a fire emergency happened and all water and electricity was shut off, at least I’d have available water. So, I got dressed again and had to drag that pail of water from the shower area to a nearby bathroom socket and wait for it to heat up.

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When you can’t count on modern technology, old technology has a way of pointing out that old does not mean useless.

After all was said and done, and the water was warm enough that I wouldn’t feel the winter cold, another thing I had to do was re-learn how to make-do with just that one pail of water for my bath. You can tag it as a #firstworldproblem even though I’m from a third-world country and currently living in one too, but it has been a very long time since I had to limit my water usage for my showers. Which is not entirely a bad thing I may add, having to experience that again, but it just made me re-think how often we take things like water for granted. We are so used to having a lot, too much water, too much food, too much money, too much of too much, that we forget that if we can limit what we use now, it may mean that we save more for later.

Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to start using just one pail of water for my bath, because I won’t be able to have a proper bath like that. But I think, from now on, I’ll be more conscious of how long I actually spend in the shower because it’s not a good habit to waste water just so I don’t have to give up being under warm water.

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