It is a pervasive theme in Addis. It’s usually a point of contention, but as with most things, there are exceptions –bidet like hoses attached to the toilets are nice. Water comes in many forms here, but usually in unconventional lakes. Water comes from the sky and fills every pothole in the unpaved roads we take to get to the grocery store. They become so large that it is necessary to weave between the small patches of earth that line them, which at times are only inches wide. So we leap over these mini-lakes, and try to weasel our way around the massive ones that take over the entire width of the street; watching taxi cabs drive straight through, submerging their front tires, and then back. Water also comes from the sky and confuses us, making us think it will be a balmy day –better wear jeans, definitely a sweater, and some running shoes- only to dry up on the second half of our journey, leaving us over heated and annoyed.
Water smells disgusting as it pools onto the floor of our bathroom EVERY DAMN TIME we take a shower- even when we have the curtain pulled completely. The small –only small in comparison to the pothole-lakes, but in actuality, it’s a pretty big pool- pool on the tiled floor does not want to be swept into either of the two drains located on either side of the bathroom. No matter how much we try to push it towards them with the smelly, perpetually soaked, mildewed mop that lives in the corner. By the end of the day the pool shrinks down to a small puddle, only to be refilled as we shower the next morning.
You don’t want to drink the water from the tap; according to travel bloggers online it will give you the shits’. This means you have to buy loads of water bottles. Even when it rains, the air is generally drier in Addis, and the elevation seems to leave you perpetually thirsty. In efforts to avoid using so many plastic water bottles, -we are from Seattle, and thus have environmental guilt- my best friend and I have bought an electric water boiler and a pitcher so that we can boil the water to decontaminate it, and then keep it in the fridge. This was a fine idea –or so I think, the jury’s out on this one… the shits’ may still be on the table- except for the fact that we bought a plastic water pitcher… rooky mistake. The water then tasted STRONGLY of plastic. We returned to the store today and bought a glass pitcher. The water tastes better than the plastic-water, but is still not nearly as tasty as the 2 Liter bottles of “BLU: Natural Mineral Water” that we bought today. My new strategy is buy one 2 Liter bottle a day, and then suffer through the evening with icky fridge water. It seems to be working alright…again, the jury is still out on this one.