High and dry

"A drop of water is as precious as a jewel." A sign at the source of the Boukein spring in Syria.

The house is completely out of water and it’s not even 10 o’clock in the morning. We’ve become used to the water supply slowly diminishing until there’s none left at the end of the day, but to wake up to a dry tap is a new experience.

Living in a city where you run out of water on a regular basis used to be kind of a novelty. The first few times it happened, it was just a minor inconvenience. It even added a little exotic flavor to our Jordan experience. A place where you can’t count on having water after 6 o’clock – now that’s a foreign country.

But now, all the charm of roughing it has worn off and we’re simply annoyed. The realities of having no running water are far from romantic. Dirty dishes are piling up in the sink and we’re trying hard not to use any more plates or utensils. Little miss laundry monster, also known as Miriam, is happily busy soiling blankets, sheets, clothing (both hers and mine), and anything she can get her hands on, as I try to find ways to clean it up without water and make it last another day. And for some reason, after each diaper change, we still walk automatically over to the sink, soap up our hands, and turn on the faucet, rubbing our hands together stupidly even as no water comes out. Doh!

Ideally, of course, we would have had the foresight to fill up some water storage before now, but somehow we never got around to it. In Syria, we always had half a dozen Boukein bottles filled with tap water set aside for times like these.

And although it is inconvenient for now, at least I have a reasonable expectation that the water will come back very soon, perhaps even today. I really feel for those women in places like Palestine and Iraq, with far bigger families than mine, who have no such hope.
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