Living with water-shortage (and some bats)

This is an imported post from my travel blog for my China trip in 2006.

In this part of China there’s a shortage of water, probably due to the fact that a lot of the water is diverted to agriculture and industry. The way that they have “solved” it around here is simply to only have the water turned on during certain times of the day. For example, during morning until 9 am, during lunch hour and during evenings until 22-23. The rest of the day it’s not possible to flush the toilet, to take a shower or even to wash your hands. Of course, the people living here have found a good way to handle the problem. In every bathroom I’ve been in they have a big plastic container for water (maybe 30-40 litres) which they fill up during the times that we have water.

Naturally, living with water shortage certainly has a big affect on our daily lives. Dad usually tells me you shui le, you shui le, xi zao (meaning “now we have water, now we have water, go shower!”), I’ve also more than once heard when eating out that we should hurry home so that we’ll have time to shower before there’s no more water. This situation has also made me realized just how much water I use.. it gets painfully apparent when you have to manually fill the toilett with water from the water container and you can see the litres of water just draining away…

Though, rest assured that I’m getting my body’s need for water covered – by the amount of water melon you eat here there is no risk of dehydration :).

As a final note on water – in the situation that China is facing with water shortage etc. it is of course quite interesting that there is an abundance of tea and soft-drinks (coca cola) available everywhere.. perhaps in some cases directing some of the water from the industry to farming (which apparently has been hit hardest by water shortage) wouldn’t be such a bad idea…

Another quite meaningless thing I’ve notcied here in the last few weeks is the amount of bats.. in Sweden you’ll be lucky if you see one or two during late summer evenings, but here they’re everywhere. Down by the lake a few days ago I probably saw about 50-60 bats swarming around munching on flies and mosquites, and they get to it early here, just when it’s starting to get dark… well that was all about bats 🙂

Tomorrow I’ll start my lessons, I’ve begun preparing and planning and i’ve got a reasonable idea on how to work with it during the next couple of weeks. Hope it all works out.. This week-end, I and Jianglei will go to Tai Shan, the holiest of holy mountains in China, hopefully I’ll return with some spectacular pictures of temples and mountain-tops.


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