Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Friday, February 10, 2012

Water Run 

The moon is just going down over the ridge. You want to get up pretty early when you go to the spring to get water. If you don't, you're going to end up standing in a very long line. Five kuai to fill a 20 liter jug, but you have to carry it yourself. It's worth it for me, because this is good spring water, and it's not that far from my village. Just walk to the bus yard, take the bus to Nanhetan, and then walk the road up the hill to the spring. They have a little stick there that you can use to pop the cap off your water jug. But I have started doing that at home before I come.The reason for this is that last time I came I was standing outside for awhile, and when I got to where I needed to have the cap off, it had already gotten so cold that it broke into pieces when I tried to pop it off. They only charge 5 mao (.5 yuan) for a new one, so that's not a big issue, but it's really hard to get a broken cap off so you can put the new one on. I had to cut it off with a pair of shears.

There are eight spigots inside, so it goes pretty fast if you get there early. Once you get up to the spigot, it takes five or ten minutes to fill the 20 liter jug. Pop the cap on, throw the jug over your shoulder, and hike back down the hill. Tough to avoid frostbite in the winter, because your gloves are usually a bit wet. But it's not too bad.

When you get home, what you're supposed to do is take the top lid off, then tip the jug upside down and place it in the dispenser. As it slides in, the inner seal breaks and lets the water flow down into the dispenser to either be heated or cooled. But I don't have a dispenser. The problem with those things is that even though they look really handy, they are not mainenance free. They do need to be cleaned from time to time, and the other thing is that when it's just one of you, it isn't really efficient to keep that thing turned on 24 hours a day. Much better to just pour some water in the teapot when you need to heat some. I have a couple 4 liter jugs I put the water in, and then use those until they're empty. Anyway, I'm boring you with details. You can do whatever suits you. If you don't like the idea of carrying your own water, you can pay 20 kuai to the water guy, and he will bring a jug right to your place. But no telling where the water he's going to bring you comes from. I'd much rather go to the spring myself and get good spring water. Like I say, if you get there vearly, it's not that bad.

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