Tropical Grouch

Picture me hauling water buckets to the toilet

For those who don’t know, this is a water pump.


Have you ever bathed in a bucket of water?

As millions of people around the world know, bathing in one bucket is doable. Hell, this morning I only needed a half a bucket for an excellent clean up. Yesterday, that was me, sitting on my haunches, washing dishes in the garden.  And of course, hauling those buckets to flush the toilets.  (I have deleted all the expletives from the post.)

In Tropica I am plagued with utilities problems on a regular, rotating basis. No water.  No electricity. No gas.  This weekend, it was water’s turn.


This is a water softening bunch of machines.


I have no water for a different reason each time.  My pump breaks due to heat, humidity, bugs, rust, calcification.  I have an entire room devoted to my water treatment systems: pressure, purification, softener.  They each take their turns breaking down.

My water pipes, buried deep under tile floors and embedded in cinderblock walls love to spring leaks. First I notice my water bill is high, so I pay for the water company men to come.  These “leak listeners” wear earphones and follow their divining rod to a certain spot. Next I invite masons into the house to pound into the walls or smash up floor tiles.  I get the requisite cement dust, workers hawking all over. Next the plumber comes to fix the leak.  Back come the masons to patch it all up.  Why so many leaks? Sediment in the water pricks the copper pipes.  Calcification closes up the pipes.  Faulty copper.  Bad soldering.  Weak connections.

The electricity well, ni hablar.  Translation: don’t even go there.  If it rains, the electricity goes off.  If it’s windy, the electricity goes off.  There are sparks in the wires, huge pops I hear whilst sitting in the livingroom.  I scurry about the house unplugging everything, the television, the phone, the fridge, the fans, the garage door, the pool pump, you get the picture, because when and if the power comes back, everything will blow out with a surge. (Surge protectors don’t help in Tropica.)

I am a first world gal just trying to make and enjoy a life, earn a living.  There is no Mister to share the duties, so I am my house’s bitch.  Most of my time is spent begging plumbers or electricians to come. They are rough men wearing flip flops and reeking of cigarettes.  The one I spoke to yesterday called me preciosa eight times in a three minutes.  Do you really want to do business with a man who calls you precious?  I wonder what he calls his male clients.

This is a low tech tinaco. Water tank, to you.


The men are all know it alls or rather, know it nothings.  I listen to their varying, surefire, hellbent explanations of what’s wrong and what needs to be done.  Five men will tell me five different things.  They speak with such authority and conviction, and think I’m crazy if I don’t agree with them.

I choose one.  Some kind of work gets done.  It is a matter of days/weeks/months and the work breaks down.

Hell yes I’m having a tantrum.  I don’t want to spend my time on water management, waste management, electrical engineering.  We all want what we don’t have.  I dream of flushing my g.d. toilet, flipping a light switch, frying an egg.  img_home


Meanwhile expats pour into Tropica with their dreams of palm trees and margaritas.

Not a good weekend, as you can see.  Add “house bitch” to my job description.  I am one hell of a contractor.

You know me to be positive. But today, this is what you get. Tomorrow, when the plumber comes, I’ll call him Señor Precious.  If he even shows up.

From the poetry of fragrance (last post) to the tyranny of water pumps.  That’s the way it goes in life.

How was your weekend?  Tell me lovely things, below!

xo Liza

Hi my lovelies.  Do you have any demons in your practical lives?  If so, today’s the day, and this is the place to dump it on us!  Please like or share this post with your friends via the clever buttons below.  And if you haven’t already, enter your email so you won’t miss a fascinating moment!


2 thoughts on “Tropical Grouch

  1. Been there, but had a very good man, Don Louis, who looked after me and the various water/electricity/plumbing problems and contractors. Every woman alone in Merida needs a Don Louis

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