02 May 2010

Double, Double Toil and Trouble..

..Fire burn and cauldren bubble.

It isn't so random of a phrase, considering my past 36 hours. I live in Boston, which since yesterday afternoon has been under a "Boil Water Order." A huge water pipe about 10ft in diameter burst in a local community, and our water supply is contaminated. So until further notice, we must boil all tap water used to drink, brush teeth, or wash hands. Officials say the water is safe to bathe in, but I must say I was entirely creeped out while showering today. I was having total deja vu about Charlotte's shower in Mexico in SATC the movie.

This experience has definitely inspired some serious thinking on my part. As I was using a measuring cup to scoop already-boiled water out of a huge pasta pot in my fridge, I couldn't help but feel like I was transported back a couple hundred years when boiling water was a necessity. I instantly remembered that I would also have been without fridge, but it was a funny realization nonetheless. Also, it has made me keenly aware of how much water I use on a daily basis. When faced with a situation like this, one can't help but think of third world countries where clean water is a scarce luxury, not something we let run down the drain while we asses our facial wrinkles in the bathroom mirror. Measuring out the water to use while washing my hands and brushing my teeth has really opened up my eyes.

It's strange to be in the midst of a "crisis," not knowing when or how it's going to end. At this moment, the pipe has been repaired, and back up water supplies have been activated, but the water sill needs to be tested before it's declared fit for consumption. Things do seem to be moving quickly though, and there's talk of having water by Wednesday, if not sooner.

There are things occurring though, that are somewhat chilling. I'm sure everyone has seen video of Haiti shortly after their earthquakes, where people are pillaging shops, breaking windows, stealing from others.. We almost just shrug it off as an uncivilized, "third world country," thing. However even in Boston, MA, stores are raising the price of water, and consumers are getting into physical battles over water supplies, {if the store hasn't run out yet.} It doesn't give one much faith to see people in the most powerful country, in arguably one of the most educated states, resorting to such primitive behavior.

Me, I'm taking from the experience what I can. Although I'll be VERY happy when I'm only boiling water for tea, and can go back to washing my hands the traditional way.

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