So there have been some public workers in front of our house for the past few days. 2 days ago we got a call and a flyer noting that the water would be turned off for a full day and a half. In the US this would be unthinkable, because if the water is off.. the WATER IS OFF. In fact growing up on the island of Hawaii, all I learned in elementary school was how to make conserve water posters for the state art competition (seriously don’t ask me what else I learned). So I’m already pretty paranoid about using a lot of water and being wasteful… your neighbors would turn you in if you watered your lawn on a “non water day.”
Here in Brazil though, most houses have a backup water supply on the roof. So we were all set. It was more, please use a little water and don’t do the wash. My husband (and I’m sure most of the other tenants here) would have gone nuts without the morning shower if the water was truly off. Today, exactly at 10am, my husband insisted I start the load of wash, he insisted he didn’t see any of the men at work, and the water should now be on for us. I was hesitant, in fact this whole time I’ve been trying to conserve as much water as possible, fearful that all of the other people won’t be able to flush their toilets. Hubby and nanny have not been as fearful, they’ve got the true jeito going on.
So today, as my load is running we get a call, “Hey water’s not on yet, water is really being used a lot and we only have half a tank of water left and it’s going fast.” OH CRAP! My load of wash just took down the building! I knew it, I should have waited longer till I got an all clear sign, I’m a horrible wasteful American. These are the thoughts streaming through my naive little head.
My husband and maid laugh. Turns out she (super plugged into the building gossip this one) heard the building maid or something and the Portero talking about how everyone in the building was acting like everything was normal the entire time and using a ton of water. He wasn’t singling me out, he was just calling everyone to let them know.
So moral is, everyone is in it for themselves. Get your water while you can, because if you don’t use it someone else will.