Sunday, November 18, 2007


The condominio was without water for a couple of hours this morning and this time, it was my fault, as on Friday, what with falling over and the consequences, I forgot to ring the Comune to request a cistern refill. How did this become my responsibility? A few weeks ago, the capocondominio [tenant in charge of administrative matters] asked me if I would do the phoning as she is often away these days for family reasons. I'd been making the requests all summer anyway, as she wasn't here, so I said I would go on doing so. Usually a refill will last about 10 days but it varies as to how many people are actually using their apartments [Sicilians are always off to the sea or the countryside] in a given period.
Early this morning this lady rang my doorbell to ask if I'd phoned and I apologised for having forgotten. She said she would pop over to the water office [as no one will answer the phone on a Sunday] which she did and then she came back to tell me the lorry would arrive later. "But this is the second time! " she exclaimed, as if I'd been really remiss, as we were waterless for a couple of hours a week ago last Wednesday, too. I explained that I had, in fact, phoned on the Friday that time but the lorry had not appeared until the following Wednesday. Now, being without water is probably more irritating to me than it is to Sicilians, as I am certainly not used to it but even I can cope for an hour or two!

At 11 am the lorry appeared and the driver told me that the office has now decided they need 3 days' notice if we need a refill so that accounts for the delay last time. Of course, no one has bothered to inform citizens of this ruling and I don't know why it has suddenly been applied: there were terrible problems with the water supply during the first year I was here but in the earlier part of this year the office got very efficient and the lorry came every week without anyone needing to phone. These arrangements were abandoned, like so many others, in the summer.

As I was going out with Simi at 9 am the lady on the ground floor called to me and I told her that a delivery had been promised for today. "This morning?" she asked. "Speriamo - let's hope so", said I, for how was I to know?! Could it be, reader, that I have acquired pazienza and the Sicilians have less of it than I these days?


Crushed said...

Your water has to be brought?

Why can they not lay pipes?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Beats me, Crushed! But that's what happens in the whole district. A friend told me it was even worse when they experimented with pipes, as the system only functioned for part of the day and there was no indication which part that was going to be!

jmb said...

It's all very complicated by the sounds of things. Could one set up a regular time for a refill, or do you actually have to run out before they come? Who called while you were away? Pazienza, as you say.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jmb. I don't think they've heard of regular times! No, we don't have to wait till we run out - just nearly. But I have no way of gaugeing this so it's always a guess. The capocondominio called that week when I was away.

M said...

I sympathise with you, we had to turn off our water at the mains for a couple of days last week as we sprung a leak in the bathroom. Had to fill pots and pans before we did it, leading to some pretty iffy tasting tea when it had been sat there for a day or two, and as for the inconvenience of going to the in-laws for a shower!!!

All back to normal now thankfully.

James Higham said...

Cistern refill? And I thought life was primitive over here. Hope they weren't rude to you, Welshcakes.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, mjw. I've always got mineral water to drink so cooking and tea water was not a problem. But yes, a year ago in the summer the situation got so bad - we were without tap water for 6 days - that I had to ask friends if I could "come round for a shower". You feel so daft!

Hi, James. No, they weren't rude.


View My Stats