No water

Yesterday, Thursday 19 January, I had no water. None.

No hot water, no cold water.

I discovered this only when I turned the tap on just after noon. There was still no water when I went to sleep after 3 am.

I called the landlord by 1pm Thursday, and he said he would come to check.

By Friday morning, there was a trickle of water in the taps. At 11:30, the landlord called to tell me that everything was fine, the tanks way up on the roof [reachable only by a gymnast, and dangerous on rainy days because the smooth stone facade is slippery] were full. He didn’t know what I was complaining about.

The same thing happened last Thursday — but it lasted for over two days, and the water only came back on Sunday.

Then, the landlord said that the water company in Ramallah had apparently rationed the water coming to our area in the days prior to my having no water. The landlord had no explanation as to why I, who live alone, was the only one in the building [where families have multiple children] who did not have water. Instead, his explanation was that “one other family in the building was suffering too”. He would not say who that was.

This Thursday-Friday, I was apparently the only one without water.

My friends think the landlord is trying to get me to move out, so he can increase the rent…

And, oh, have I mentioned that the gas system for heating [an Israeli system, called “Yumkers”], which I am the only one who paid to have it installed in my apartment, has not worked since the first year — it was discoverd this past year that there is a crack in the gas well that the landlord installed in the building just before I moved in, casting doubt on his earlier theory that I was overusing the gas, in the gluttonous ways of foreigners… Since then, I have migrated to mobile electrical heaters, and the most effective and safest are the oil filled radiators that are warmed by electricity and then operate on a thermostat. This year, the electricity is more expensive than last year: in November this year, I paid 1300 NIS, new Israeli shekels, for electricity, about $350 dollars, for the month — prepaid, of course, because Palestinians are believed to be poor payers of monthly bills. In December I paid 1600 NIS for electricity, about $421 dollars. And, in January, I have already paid 2000 NIS, or about $540, and I really hope I can make it through the month on that. A factory uses about the same. With that, I will have paid 4500 so far this winter for three months — whereas last year that got me through four months. That is a big increase. And this place is not warm. In the summer, when I do not use air conditioning, and don’t even have it available, I pay less than 100 NIS per month for electricity… There is something very wrong here.]

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