Monday, June 22, 2009

NO H2O....

I called the landlord to ask what the deal is and he said he was sorry he forgot to let me know there would be a lapse for approximately 24-36 hours with no water in this part of the city. When I asked why he said it was “our neighborhoods turn” so apparently there is a roaming water shortage.

I have never experienced turning on the faucet and no water coming out. I have a pan in the kitchen and one in the bathroom but they are almost gone. I bought two, four liter jugs at the store for about $6.00 each for drinking and cooking so I should be ok until the truck comes. Bathing with cold water in a bucket is not my idea of fun and hope this shortage does not hit my neighborhood again before I leave or hopefully it will take place while I am in South Africa.

Today was market day and this time I agreed to have a guide help me (Vincent, number 120). If he told me his name and number once, he did it at least 10 times so I would ask for him next visit. There are usually 25-30 guides waiting outside the market and wear white smocks with their number on it. He saved me about 1000 francs by bartering and when I went to give him 1000 francs he said it was too much so I ended up giving him 500. He was very proud of the service he provided and he insisted on carrying all my purchases to the car. His English was excellent and it amazes me he has to do this for a living.

He also gave me a lecture on eggs: Rwanda eggs have yellow yolks and have more vitamins while Ugandan eggs have white yolks and according to Vincent are inferior. He said each Rwandan egg is 100 francs and worth the extra cost (Ugandan eggs are 70 francs each). I have had omelets at restaurants and they were very anemic looking and had a different flavor than I am used to; so I guess there is something to buying them at the market and fixing them at home.

I wish they had an etiquette book to help foreigners know how to deal with all the cultural issues like what to pay someone like Vincent. Plus I still do not know how to deal with the housekeeper and guard. People ask me why I do not hire a driver because it would save me from getting lost so often; getting lost will be the topic of another street names or addresses make a directionally challenged person wander aimlessly!

It is different having a cleaning service come to my house in CA regularly but to have someone around for 10 or 24 hours a day wanting to wait on you is disconcerting to me.

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