Sometimes things just take longer here. It’s something anyone who’s lived both here and there for a decent amount of time knows. For example . . .
Last night I wanted to make zucchini muffins. If you’ve known me for long enough, you know that I could make them in my sleep, and you may even know that if I want to make a single batch I have to divide the recipe in my head by 6. However, even though I had all the ingredients (after I borrowed eggs from Jen), it wasn’t that easy.
I cracked open my first egg. I was glad that the inside layer of the shell didn’t crack, since the egg was black inside. Take two. That one worked. But after putting just a few ingredients in the bowl, our night guard came and I had to greet him and let him in, then I got otherwise distracted and had to leave the beginnings of the dough in the fridge until tonight.
Tonight, . . . well, let me back up.
When I turn on my water here, I don’t get to choose the temperature. It just comes out whatever temperature the pipes happen to be that day. When it’s a really hot day, the water is warmer. When it’s chilly, the water is cooler. So to get cold water, I put it in 1 1/2 liter bottles in the fridge. But before I put the water in the fridge, I put it through the filter. I’ve heard that my city is the one city in the third world with clean water, but I like to be safe, at least when I have a choice.
So when I went into the kitchen this evening I saw several water bottles sitting out, waiting to be filled. I went to the sink to get water to put into my filter to fill my water bottles. But our lunch dishes were still there, since from late morning until sometime this afternoon the water was cut and no water was coming out of our pipes, warm or cold! I pulled the dishes out of the sink and realized there was sitting dishwater in the sink. I figured it would go down the drain, but it didn’t. It was a problem, since the water pressure was very low and I would be there all night waiting for enough water to fill my bucket to fill my filter to fill my water bottles, so I wanted to put the bucket down in the sink and work on those muffins as I was waiting for it, but the sink was full of dirty water. I tried to find what was covering the drain, but there wasn’t anything blocking it.
Then I figured out what must be the problem. You see, Jen and I have someone who comes to help us cook and clean, since otherwise we’d never get any sleep with trying to do that plus work. (By the end of this blog post I think you’ll understand why we don’t have time to do everything ourselves if you don’t believe me yet.) Anyway, I’ve seen her wash dishes and just wash the leftover rice or whatever down the drain. I figured that it had probably clogged it down below somewhere. I was now left with two choices – leave it until the morning and call the plumber (which would probably only cost $2-3, but that would mean I’d have yucky water sitting out overnight, which would invite cockroaches and feed the ones I already have very well), or try to fix it myself. So I start to work on it. And I do eventually get it fixed, after having to respond to three different people at the door in the meantime. Yay!
Now, where was I? Oh yes, filling the water filter so that later I’ll be able to fill up my water bottles and have cold water tomorrow. Right. I get that filled. Now, about those muffins . . .
Next ingredient is flour. I have some of that. Only it has lots of bugs in it this time. That’s true – I had forgotten to put it in the freezer when I got it to kill them and then keep it in the fridge after that so that if there were any left they wouldn’t grow. The flour has just been sitting in my cabinet. At least it was sealed. So I sift that, then wash out the dozens of bugs and their larvae that were in the two cups of flour – outside. I add the rest of the ingredients and get to the zucchini. That I have to grate by hand, but at least I have a great little salsa maker that helps out with that. When I’m almost ready, I go to light the oven. With matches. Only I forget to turn off the ceiling fan at first and the first ones snuff out. Yes, it was 88 degrees in my house BEFORE I turned on the oven.
I eventually got all the muffins in the oven. I lick the batter out of the bowl (I decide that after all this, I’m taking my chances with bird flu that I don’t think is on this side of the country, not to mention salmonella) and become thirsty. Oh yes, that reminds me – I had better fill up those water bottles from my filter and put them in the fridge.
It’s now 9:00pm. Muffins are almost done. I have a huge stack of dishes, but if I can find room in the fridge (so the cockroaches don’t get them) I can leave them for tomorrow. I’ll probably have to do at least some of them tonight, though.
And I should think about dinner. I have leftovers from lunch that I think I’ll heat up. On the stove, of course, since I don’t have a microwave. But first I’ll need to wash my pot. (I have thought about splurging and getting a microwave here, since they are very expensive, but I currently only have less than 5 feet of counter space, including where I need to dry dishes, and I don’t feel like giving up 2 of those feet for a microwave.) At least I know that I have a yummy dessert, though! And that tomorrow I get to start all over with more of these “adventures.”