Monday, November 24, 2008

mystery 1.

living in a foreign land means that two things come with every new day: misunderstandings and unexplainable mysteries.

my second favorite mystery of this foreign place has to do with the little man who delivers our water. see, in the town where i live, the tap water is non-potable. we must order our jugs of drinking water. when we first moved in, a friend gave us the "water number" and a script (complete with pauses for questions and everything). as we learn more vocabulary, the script makes more and more sense, and now we are pretty close to knowing what we are actually saying. Anyway, about fifteen minutes after you make the call and read your script, a little man carrying two jugs of water on his back knocks on your fifth floor door. its like magic.

a few weeks ago, my roommate called our beloved water man, only to find the phone line busy. she forgot to call a second time, and it would have gone unnoticed if twenty minutes later, our water man didn't knock on our door. but he did, this time with only one jug of water. as he replaced our old jug with the new, we stood there, mouths agape, wondering how the heck he knew we were in desperate need of water.. did he have caller ID all of the sudden, even though said roommate had never called waterman before? did he note the date of our last water purchase and assume we needed more water? or did we actually call the waterman?

as he shuffled toward the door, we tried to pay him the usual amount, but he refused. then, he started talking about american money... very confused, we found a quarter in our belongings and showed it to him to see if that was what he wanted... he asked how much it was worth, and then handed it back to us. still confused by his actions and our nonexistent language skills, we handed it back to him and told him he could have it.. he looked pleased and, still refusing our local currency, walked out the door.

we are still unaware of his original motives for bringing us that jug of water and how he knew we needed it... but everytime we see him, he gets this big grin on his face so i guess all is well.. and the last time he came to visit, we gave him an american bill, so he has been more cheerful than usual.

in other news:
i have a creative block.
and am listening to feist on repeat.
it's bad.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I love you, tiny water man