It’s hard to write about anything else at the moment.
I can’t flush my toilet. I can’t bathe. I have to wait in line for hours in the heat to get water.
Even when you go to the mall you can’t go to the bathroom.
This is a nightmare for someone with Crohn’s Disease — AKA me. How lucky I am, right?
Of all the cities in Southeast Asia I could’ve chosen to live full-time, I had to pick Manila.
I love the Philippines and Filipinos, though, but oddly enough, I’m not too worried about this.
Here’s what this situation has taught me.
We Should Have More Faith In Humanity
I’m not sure if this is common of Filipinos or PEOPLE in general, but there hasn’t been many freak outs happening here.
If anything, people are smiling and having a good time.
Come to think of it, I do think this says something about Filipinos, but I think after prolonged exposure to less-than first world conditions, we’d all adapt.
When I woke up four days ago to no water coming out of my faucet and a long line of people waiting for water outside, the spoiled brat American in me almost kicked in.
But then I just got my buckets, waited in line for a few hours, and got water to flush my toilets/take a shower.
I didn’t really think much of it.
I thought there’d be massive freak outs and general depravity happening everywhere. I mean, there’s no freaking water virtually everywhere in the city.
But for the most part, the people have remained calm, and their calmness has eased my nerves as well.
We will get through it.
You Can Adjust Faster Than You Think
One of my dear friends online the other day told me they didn’t know if they could take not having indoor plumbing and other necessities.
I think she was selling herself short.
If I — spoiled brat — could adjust with little more than a bat of an eye, then she could, too.
I’ve gotten used to the new order.. I now get water everyday at 5 PM. That’s enough to flush my toilets and bathe myself once. Then I do it again the next day.
It’s crazy just how LITTLE water you actually need.
We Don’t Need That Much Water
I’ve realized something critical about bathing.
I can literally bathe myself with *maybe* 2–3 gallons of water.
I’m being completely serious.
Even with washing my hair.
Statistics show Americans use about 17.2 gallons of water for every 8-minute shower.
This is ridiculous to be honest. We do not need that much water — and I don’t want to shame people right now — take as many hot showers as you want, but just realize that I realized we don’t need that much water and it’s preposterous how much we waste.
I imagine the entire city of Manila is being extremely efficient right now with their water supply.
I would love to know how much we’ve consumed as a city since four days ago and how much different that is from a typical four days here.
I Now Appreciate Every Drop Of Water
Water is precious. I’ve heard this lesson before, but once the rationing starts happening and the faucets run dry, you REALLY get the severity of it.
I think every major city in the world needs to go through this. I really do.
If every city went through this temporarily, the citizens there would get a wake-up call like me.
The fact is, we’re not doing much about this.
I have learned to take a shower with 3 gallons of water. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?
Well I’ve invented ways to use less water. I still need suggestions on washing the dishes efficiently, though. 😉
I think there needs to be mandatory water-reduction rotations in every city to help us understand how precious water is.
This might sound bat-shit crazy, but the people of Manila have gotten along just fine.
We can, too, and we need to not just KNOW, but UNDERSTAND.
I Actually Kind Of Like Having No Water
The weird part about all this is I sort of like it.
I sort of like being efficient with my water.
It makes me feel better about myself to bathe with 3 gallons of water but it also has this “addition by subtraction” quality to it.
I appreciate water more. It makes me feel closer to this city because we’re all struggling together. I now have a few hours of my day that I dedicate to fetching water and NOT working.
Sh*t, this is actually sort of a gift.
I really DO think I’ll bathe differently in the future. I do think this experience has changed me. A mistake. A chance happening that I would be in Manila at the perfect time.
And now I’m here to tell you about it.
Thanks for listening.
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