Dinner is Ruined and a Cold Shower

Sometimes I forget that the basic things we take for granted in Canada just aren't the same here. Water and gas for instance. I had been marinating a lovely pork loin roast for a couple of days and my mouth had been watering for it's delicious, juicy roasted goodness. Until I went to light the stove and discovered we were out of gas. See, there aren't any pipelines or constant delivery of gas here, you have tanks (stationary or portable) that you need to fill with gas in order to do things like, oh, cook. Of course, there is no little warning of "you have three days of gas left" or "the tank is almost empty, don't forget to fill it" or a buzzer or a light or anything, you find out you don't have gas when you don't have gas. And of course it's always when you have a lovely meal planned that requires the stove. As you might suspect, I was quite disappointed after all my tender meat loving care. I improvised (had to, no other food options!) and cut the roast into slices and grilled it on the ole George Foreman, but it just wasn't the same. In my life B.M. (before Mexico), I would have run screaming for the nearest bottle shouting "Dinner is RUINED, whatever shall we do!?!?" but I just went with the flow and ate my less than satisfactory grilled pork loin. Fortunately, Hubby didn't complain about the meat, though he did bitch about the rice I had to make in the microwave. Even more unfortunately, we haven't got two pesos to rub together until next week so we'll be improvising a lot this week for dinner with no gas for the stove until we can afford to fill'er up.

The other little matter that I sometimes take for granted is water. Again, there is no pipeline or constant supply, the water is pumped into our "cisternas" (cisterns) once a day and once we use it up, it's gone until they pump again. Normally this doesn't pose a problem, but our cleaning lady has a horrible habit of just letting the water run and run and run. We have talked to her about it and she nods and smiles, but it still seems that it's only the days that she is here that we run out of water. So last night I was getting over my dinner disappointment and thought a shower would be a great idea. Well, nope, of course with my bad luck, the tanks were empty and not a drop of water could be found. Not to have my shower or even wash my face. If you've been following the weather here is it HOT AND HUMID (normal for summer), so I went to bed a stinky sticky grumpy mess. We tried to stay up late enough to see if the water would come, turning on the "bomba" (pump) at 10:30 and 11:00 to no avail. Sometimes they'll pump it in at those hours but I guess they knew that I really wanted it and decided to hold back til we were sleeping in puddles of sweat. I woke up this morning and ran to turn on the bomba, hurrah, water! Of course, it didn't have time to get into the hot water heater so I had a bitterly cold shower this morning, oh joy of joys, there was some yelping and some swearing, but I managed to get myself at least clean enough to go to work. I'm looking forward to a nice warm bath with Max later today, we didn't dare shower him in those frigid temps this morning so he went to summer camp a little less clean than he should have been.

And so it goes.


Comments

Mexico "Way" said…
I hope you don't turn into this chick:

http://mexicoquoteunquoteway.blogspot.com/2008/01/expat-loses-it-blows-up-gas-truck.html
My3Ro's said…
Wow I am glad you survived all that. Heres lots of hugs to you.
My3Ro's said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
mexpat said…
No estas sola! We don't have gas right now either, and we had my in-laws in town with no warm showers! LOL! Gotta love it!
CancunCanuck said…
Mexico Way- Yeah, that chick is psycho, LOL!

My3ros- Awww, it wasn't that bad at all, just another day of life in paradise. :)

Mexpat- Ooooh, life with stinky in-laws, LOL! I guess things could be much much worse, si? ;-)
Anonymous said…
Since you don't have two pesos for food or gas, sounds like you need to let the cleaning lady go and do the cleaning yourself...if you do not have gas to cook with, you do not have gas for the hot water heater to take a hot shower..
CancunCanuck said…
Anon- The cleaning lady and food are budgeted for, 1500 pesos to fill the gas tank was not. I do plenty of cleaning, I don't think having a cleaning lady exempts anyone from that, having someone come in two or three times a month for extra help is not an extravagance. Hot water was back shortly after my cold shower, courtesy of our electric water heater. But thanks.
JJ said…
Those of us in the know really know what a drag it is to not have what so many others think is just normal stuff - gas in your case, water in mine. I am often amazed at how I put up with my seemingly constant lack of water in my apartment (pipe issues). And then remember the living in the post-Wilma no-electricity days! You know, and we know, that it's a matter of making the best of it, and you're really good at that. Good girl, keeping that chin up!
islagringo said…
I don't know what to say. I am overwhelmed that you can so cheerfully post about this. Yes, I know it's the way here, but really. Don't you get sick of it sometimes? What a price we sometimes pay for having the sun!
Ale said…
ack!! yes I do remember about the gas thing.. just the other day my poor mom was fussing all upset because she ran out of gas to take her hot shower :S What I didn't know is that in the Cancun area there is no pipeline or constant supply. I guess that is one of the thing you take for granted... where I used to live in Mexico we did have pipelines and the like... but hey, the ocean is so lovely that I wouldn't change it for the world!!!
CancunCanuck said…
JJ- Water, gas, pah, luxury! You can't get your knickers in a knot about these things otherwise you'll go crazy in a heartbeat, go with the flow man, improvise and smile, life is much easier (and I'll get fewer wrinkles). :)

IslaGringo- I have got to be chipper about things, in comparison to many, my life is dreamy. I just picture myself living in Zimbabwe or Iraq or even the ghettoes of the US and Canada and my little problems just fade away.

Ale- Yes maam, there are trade offs for the beautiful place we live, services such as gas and water are only a couple of them, but it's all worthwhile really! It is somewhat surprising that Cancun is as "underdeveloped" as it is considering it was only built 37 years ago, you would think they would have installed the basics but ni modo!
1st Mate said…
Humbly submitted advice from a boat person: I have a Mr. Stove with bottled butane so I always have something to fall back on. In the house I also have an electric convection oven about the size of a microwave, and I love it! We also keep at least one six-gallon jug full of wash water. On the boat we have two or three. Our motto is "always have a backup."
lisaloveloca said…
As I read this all I can think is damned you- you have a bathtub! hahaha!
You know how I feel about that- I've even been thinking of buying a house watering trough to put on my patio- who cares if the neighbors can see!! BATHTUB!!!!
islagringo said…
I've been thinking about that sarcastic comment that anon left about letting your cleaning lady go ever since I read it. I just keep getting madder and madder! How dare she criticize until she has experienced what it is like living as we do here. There are no luxuries here, mostly a lot of coping and getting by on what we have. I can't even comment decently, I am so mad!
Jorge said…
Ahi viene Z Gas, ahi viene Z Gas... It's your Cozumel song.
Anyway maybe anon can give me some tips on how to be perfect in this not so perfect world... Maybe he(she) can support me with tons of pesos...lol

We love you mam√°.
CancunCanuck said…
1st Mate- Thanks for the advice. We rarely think about having back up that requires electricity, usually we're trying to find something in case the electricity goes, not the gas! We back up water when we know a storm is coming, but don't normally think about it otherwise, good idea.

Lisa- Nyah nyah nyah nyah nhay, we have a bathtub. J/K! Come over for a bath!! (After the cleaning lady comes though, haha)

IslaGringo- I know, I know. It didn't make me happy either, but I just had to let it roll. Thanks for the support!!

Jorge/Hubby- Si, mi cancion de Cozumel! Mua. Love you too babe
Heather said…
huh, i thought i posted on this already, my bad. anyways.. sorry to hear about dinner but you still made the best of it. Great job on that. Makes you not take things for granted when your not in those situations anymore.
-h
Gotta love those gas tanks.... We have a service that I call and they bring the gas in (Thank God we dont have to go out and get it as we used to do in Higuey), but it is a regular tank like yours, and we do find out is over when is over.... I gotta tell you, it always happens when we have no money.... That's ALWAYS... And we can never predict the time, as it's never the same time....

As for the water, we also have a cistern and it gets fill out one of two times a week... We do have a "tinaco" who gets fill out from the cistern, which is great.. We had water problems back in March when the water was coming out dirty, so we had to pay somebody to take the water out, clean the cistern, and then pay a truck to fill it up... Which by the way happens to me the day before Camila's pool party at my house when Cara was here... How cool, uh??

Anyway, the thing is that I feel you... And I wont even comment to "annon"... Oh no, I wont say nice things...

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