Those of you who have followed us here will recall the centralized hot water system we have mentioned before. That is, all of our hot water comes from a central plant several miles away from us. It is amazing that, even during the cold, cold winter months, it manages to reach us still warm. But it does. However, the consistency of the supply is still 'iffy'. Sometimes they seem to either not keep up with demand or a small glitch of some sort leaves us without hot water for short periods, from time to time. So you learn. If there is hot water, that is the time to take a bath or shower! Mostly, it works out ok.
However, during the summer, things become a bit more interesting than usual. We had heard that there would be about a two week period in which there would be no hot water. They, apparently, sort of shut things down for maintenance. Two weeks without hot water! Ouch!
Well, we just finished our two week stint. And now everything is back on and we're doing great, right? Bish (not)! Oh, the hot water is back on, for sure. And it is scalding hot! In fact, it is just like the water in the cold water pipe!
Yup! That's right! The cold water, isn't!! First we had no hot water, now we have no COLD water! Now we have more hot water than we know what to do with! And it's been like that for two days -- so far!
Ever tried to do . . . well, just about anything, with nothing but scalding hot water?! Let us point out a couple of things for you. A shower is out of the question -- unless you want boiled missionary! To take a bath, you run a tub of water and then wait for an hour or two for it to cool down enough to get in!
Oh, and of course this is happening during the hottest part of the year! Remember those exposed pipes that run through the bathroom? Well let's just say we now have a built in sauna in our apartment! And it is doing a nice job of heating the rest of the place, as well!
And picture this if you will: sitting on a toilet full of scalding hot water! (ok, so don't spend too much time with the picturing thing!) Wow! And shaving is a real experience! Run sink full of water; do not touch; wait for 45 minutes; test water; shave; rinse off with . . . oh, wait a minute. You can't rinse off! I mean WIPE off with dry towel!
And, of course, you will remember that we have to filter the water before we can drink it. To help with that, we have a nice three stage water filter installed in the kitchen which we direct water through when we need drinking water. But hot water will destroy the filters and we don't dare use it. Ergo, no drinking water either!
Why are they running hot water through all of the pipes you ask? TIM (this is Mongolia)! If you can figure this one out, please let us know!
And did I mention that we saw a newspaper article yesterday that indicated they were having a bit of trouble with the maintenance issue and that we would likely be repeating this wonderful experience at the end of July?
Stayed tuned for more exciting adventures from half way around the world!
Note to Elder and Sister Lasson: it is too late to change your minds, now. We expect your here on August 1st as scheduled!