Taking Things For Granted

Of course any time you go overseas to live, there are always going to be things you miss. Or at least for me I find this to be true. But there are always things I used at home but never thought about. Until I don’t have them anymore. Some people refer to this as taking things for granted. So here are a few I’ll share with you.

–Running Water:Maybe I should rephrase that: [clean] running water. Do you realize how often you use clean water to do menial tasks? I do. now. Before I used [clean] water without even thinking about it to do tasks such as:

  1. Brushing Teeth: We use filtered water to brush our teeth. You can’t just run your toothbrush under the faucet. You can if you want. But you will have a 99% chance of getting Giardia. Which is no fun because it likes to come back and visit you.
  2. Rinsing Dishes: A lot of times at home, if I just used a dish for something, I’d rinse it out and reuse it (I hate washing dishes…) Here, you face two obstacles:
    1) Bleach water. You have to run enough water to add bleach to it so that you can soak the dish in bleach water so the bacteria has been killed.
    2) Conservation. Water is high in demand during the summer but the supply is low. Therefore, you have to decide which you would rather have water for: rinsing and reusing dishes a couple times a day and risk running out of water (for showers) or wash dishes once a day and have enough water for showers most of the time.
  3. Conserving Water: Like I said, we have to worry about conserving water during the summer. Something I never had to consciously think about all the time when I was at home. Here, I take military showers (not every day) to conserve water. The dishes are washed once a day. Do you know how nice it feels to take a nice, long, hot shower? I have vague memories of that wonderfulness.

–Microwaves: Yes. Microwaves. There are none here. They make life so much easier. You don’t have to cook every meal. Just cook extra and tomorrow you can heat it up in seconds in the microwave. In the States you can. Not here. Because there are no microwaves. Did you know you also use it to heat up water for hot drinks? I realized how often I did that once I couldn’t do it. Or how you can precook/thaw stuff in it? Now you have to use a stove. A gas stove. That you have to light with a match. In hot weather. With the window closed because it will blow out your flame. Oh microwaves. You are missed. You are truly, truly missed.

So like I said. These are a few of the things I took for granted at home. Don’t make this mistake. Please know how lucky you are. Because you are blessed to have access to these things. Some things more so than others (the microwave).

So please enjoy these luxuries if you are lucky enough to be able to run water for anything thing you want without having to decide if you’d rather save the water for a shower that can be as long or as short as your heart desires. Have fun not having to be fully awake in the mornings when you brush your teeth and run that toothbrush under running unfiltered water. Then do it again just for me. Enjoy not having to worry about how often you can or cannot do dishes. If you have the luxury of just being able to rinse a dish off, please take a moment to savor it for me.

And if you are one of the luckiest people of all who have a microwave, if you are one of those lucky, lucky people, as you wait for you food to miraculously heat in just a few short seconds after simply presssing a few buttons, please, say a prayer for me as I am most likely struggling to light the stove without burning my whole hand off in a small explosion (which almost happened. Literally. More than once.).


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