28 May, 2012

More like H2-NO!

Sorry for the recent radio silence (is there an internet-equivalent for that phrase?). I have been really really busy lately as the end of the semester approaches, and I had to ban myself from using VPN-powered internet in order to keep focused and productive. I am going to take a break from the backlog of posts in order to tell you about my life in its current state.

That… and because irony never escapes me.

Last week, I didn’t have water in my flat for three days. I have been without water for that long before, and it wasn’t too bad because I was warned about it beforehand. I was prepared. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday—I was without water without warning. I know what you’re thinking: “But Mike, you’re an awesome Boy Scout, and a resourceful Peace Corps volunteer. Why on Earth would you be unprepared? Also, I’m glad to see you’re growing your hair out again. I always loved your long hair.”

Well, thank you. I just wish my hair would grow faster; it’s stuck in that in-between stage where it never really looks great. But, more importantly, that is a good question. Typically, I am the most prepared; I fill my washing machine with water when it is idle—just in case. However, I had just done laundry on Sunday, and forgot to fill it.

For the record, I did technically get a warning about the water going off. I received a text that read: “Store water. It will be off for 3 days.” Unfortunately, by the time I got that message and raced to fill my washing machine, I was already without.

It was a rough three days, but the worst part was it rained nearly non-stop for those three days. It rained more in the three days than it has the whole time I have been living in Lanzhou. It wasn’t all a downpour. Sometimes it was no more than a mist. Regardless, it was still more water than I had in my flat.

After Wednesday, it was on most of the time, with random four-hour blocks of nothing.

For clarification: the reason for such water interruptions is the colossally gargantuan amount of construction going on in front of my university. Many people have written about the speed in which construction changes China. I have seen it first-hand as construction evolves on the major road in front of my uni. 

Then last Friday, I got an email informing me I wouldn’t have water this week either. This time it would be off from Monday until Thursday. Speaking with other volunteers, it seems that the ENTIRE CITY will not have water this week…

Which brings me to now. Monday. I considered taking screencaps of my Lanzhou friends’ facebook statuses. All of them are bemoaning, lamenting, or otherwise cursing our lack of water. It is quite frustrating.

My goals for this waterless week: One, grade 350 free-writing/journal entries. Two, focus on getting ready to run a half-marathon in two weeks. Three, try to organise a group of my students to compete in a frisbee tournament on Saturday. Four, stop focusing on the fact that my birthday is a month away (and the existential crises that accompany it). Five, keep grading those free-writes.

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