Not everyday of the life of a Peace Corps Volunteer is glamorous, or even exciting. Some days just plain stink!
The water gets turned off now and then in my small development - pipes need to be unearthed, repaired or replaced by a small team of workers - but it usually never lasts longer than a few hours. Yesterday, I saw a man doing some welding on the main water pipe just outside my apartment and thought nothing of it. This morning, I found a toilet bowl full (to the brim) of what looked (and smelled) like 2-month old beef stew. I will spare you any more similes; I have been thinking of them all day.
I walked to the foreign students guest house and told the attendant that I needed some help and that my toilet was broken, having never learned the word(s) "clogged" or "overflowing with who knows' partially-digested Spring Festival Chinese sausages" (see previous blog entry). This was at 9am.
Four hours later, 2 men arrived with a special electric tubing machine and I apologized repeatedly, first because it was Spring Festival, and most importantly, I pitied them for having to open the bathroom door I sealed off for the last few hours (to ferment...yuck!). They stuck the metal tubing in the toilet - bare hands; they neglected to use the latex kitchen gloves I bought - and then the really gross part: they turned the machine on and like a blender full of liquid without the lid properly fastened, proceeded to spray "liquid Chinese sausages" all over themselves and the bathroom. I opened all the windows (to survive).
At one point, I thought they had finished. But nothing had changed. They left. To where? They didn't tell me. Hours pass. My bathroom is a mess. I send a nasty text message to my Waiban director, complaining that I have no where to relieve myself (not even close to the level of nastiness coming from the bathroom). 10 minutes later, the team plus 2 women arrive and do it all over again, plus this time concluding with a successful bypass (and manys laughs). I sure hope they all live in a place with a shower, because if I were them (and I am not the stereotypical American germ-o-phobe) I would bathe in bleach. Speaking of, I bleached my entire bathroom for an hour after they (quickly) left (without an explanation as to why this happened), leaving me their homemade crap-flavored milkshake (on the walls).
I love and miss you all,