surinenglish

Water palaver

A few years back, the water was cut off for four days in the flat I was living in - a quite miserable experience, compounded by the fact that none of it was in any way my fault. Well, blow me down, if same thing didn’t happen yesterday, but this time with one big difference - the suffering was all self-inflicted.

The pub has so many standing orders and regular payments pinging in and out (mostly out) of its corresponding bank account that there comes a point that it all becomes a bit of a blur. Consequently, the fact that I overlooked setting up a standing order for the water bill when I first changed apartment last year went completely unnoticed. Add this to a disastrous postal service round these parts and you’ve the perfect storm.

The surprising thing is, the water bills went unpaid for a whole year before the company finally turned the taps off.

The woman on the other end of the phone was very sympathetic and understanding.

“I’m afraid you must have overlooked changing the account to your name when you moved. It happens a lot.”

“Yes, I think you’re right - it’s my own fault. So, erm, how much is outstanding exactly?”

I braced myself, wondering if I’d need to remortgage my house to pay it all.

“Sixty four euros eighty six.”

“I beg your pardon, madam. Are you implying that I never shower?”

(Well, I didn’t say that last bit but I did wonder what she must be thinking.) Still, it was the only silver lining in the whole affair because never has the maxim “You don’t miss the water until the well runs dry” seemed so utterly appropriate. When they cut the supply off, it means, for example, that you can’t cook or clean; but that’s enough of the positive points, let’s get to the misery. You also can’t shower or use the toilet or slurp water straight from the kitchen tap like blokes do when their wives aren’t home (or maybe that’s just me?).

Tomorrow, I’m off to the water company to try to sort it all out and the very helpful woman insisted I should have my water back on by three in the afternoon if I go nice and early.

One thing’s for sure - there won’t be much of a queue. I won’t have showered for more than thirty six hours by the time I get there - a surefire guarantee that I’ll get the place to myself.