Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Great Mabul of 5768

Pictured here are snapshots from the Great Mabul ("Flood") of Nachlaot, which began for the general public several weeks ago when temperatures plummeted below zero every night. Suddenly, in Nachlaot, which can easily be described as "funky / cool" (read: old and rickety but filled with really cool people) neighborhood, the Mabul was upon us. Not a street was spared. Pipes broke, "Dude Shemesh" (solar / electric rooftop water heaters) explosions were commonplace, and it hit home for me personally on 16 Shevat 5768 (last Wednesday) when water began oozing from where the floor meets the wall in the bathroom.
Over the next week every towel was used, over and over, hung out to dry in the not-too-far-above-freezing temperatures to mop up the water while my French realtors smoked and exchanged sarcastic barbs with plumbers, but nothing much got done.
Friday, Erev Shabbas, while cooking meals for Friday night and Saturday lunch for 16 people, the building's water supply was shut down, and only restored to partial capacity for Shabbat. During Shabbat no towels could be wrung out, and now not only are a dozen wet towels hanging on my clothesline but ... it's raining. In fact, it's been raining since Friday night. Every towel that hung out to dry is far wetter than it was before, and the skies are stormy today too.
*****Point of order: I do have a washing machine (Israeli style - 1 small load / 2 hours to wash) but don't have a dryer.
Right now, as the dry towel supply is exhausted, we're managing with these diaper-like shmatas (rags) and wringing them out by hand every 90 minutes.
* * * NOTE TO WORLD: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SPONGE MOP HERE IN ISRAEL. Some smart marketing person should be thinking about importing them and teaching Israelis about the concept of mops which automatically wring themselves out for you with just the flip of a we have in America.
We can even engrave on the handle: do not use on Shabbat.
Meanwhile, insurance people, lawyers, the building committee, my realtors and seemingly everyone else including the Jerusalem Municipality who controls water supplies are arguing with each other, in Hebrew. Chances are someone may put us in a hotel for the duration of the flood. I'm taking my cues from Noah on this one.

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