A twist on Paul McCartney’s 1964 lyrics for “Can’t Buy Me Love” came to mind last week when the anticipated water shortage came to my Guadalajara colonia.
The incapacity of money to purchase either love or water is not true across the board, of course, but bear with me a moment.
After reading about the approaching shortage in these very pages, I felt a mixture of denial and confusion that reminds me of my reaction to the coronavirus, except that with water I lacked the curiosity I felt about the virus. Maybe I was worn out by spinning my wheels over the virus, which seemed to do what it wanted, no matter how much investigating I did.
But investigation of the water problem may not have helped much, as the solution to a community-wide problem requires a community. And my little apartment community did come through, hiring a pipa (water truck) to come at 11 p.m. Friday and fill our basement aljibe (cistern) with 20,000 liters, costing 2,600 pesos plus tip. After just 1 1/2 days of ni una gota of water emerging from our llaves (taps), the abundance had us almost dancing in the street, where we gathered to usher in the pipa. (You can see that such an experience can significantly enlarge one’s Spanish vocabulary.)
The problem had surfaced the preceding Sunday when I ventured out for my dog’s 2 a.m. bladder break and witnessed water gushing from a hose coming out of a ground floor window in my building, where a crew has been doing renovation. The water flooded the street. This mystery was eventually deciphered: someone, probably a worker, had set up a late-night heist and left the gushing hose after filling the recipiente in their vehicle and fleeing.