I'm struggling with what to call this post. At this point, it has no name. Not that I don't have ideas! Here are a few: "I Loathe Laundry", "Drunks are People Too," "Community in Action," "Disgruntled and Discouraged," "Go with the Flow," "What on Earth Part 2."
Story time! Yesterday (Friday) afternoon, I was coming home from school, only to be greeted by our landlord. He, Adula, had clearly been drinking, which he does from time to time. (More often than not). He leaves everyone else alone, except for me. Normally, I can just walk away, as he jabbers to me in Albanian, and it doesn't bother me. Yesterday, however, he started following me up the stairs just talking away. His daughter in law was there but she didn't say anything to him. I had to get in his face and get my angry eyes out. Then, I marched off. Now for something entirely different (yet related).
Entela, Tracey and I took dinner to our friend, Mira, who is on bed-rest. We had a pleasant visit, enjoying Chinese food from one of my student's restaurants. Amy, my friend and downstairs neighbor, called as we were ending our visit. "Holly, she said, there's a leak in my apartment. It's coming from your place. Did you happen to leave your laundry running? I think you should come home now." Mira called her husband, who was out with friends, to take us home. I was anxiously waiting when Amy phoned again. "Holly, I'm outside your door and it sounds as if there is a cascading river inside your apartment." I said one word and I'm afraid it isn't repeatable on a family friendly blog.
Luckily, Mira's husband arrived and drove us back home. Tracey and I raced up to my apartment, followed closely by Natasha, the landlord's daughter (she also happens to be a judge). Amy and Travis came running up too. Everyone had their squeegees, mops, and buckets. Sure enough, my entire apartment was flooded. We're talking an inch and a half of water. The door of my washer had burst open during the rinse cycle. As far as we can tell, the water kept flowing (get it, go with the flow...that was Tracey's joke) because it never sensed that it was full.
Literally, it was all hands on deck. We rolled up my sopping rugs and started to fling them out to the balcony. The super heavy ones we left in the bathroom rolled up. There is a drain in the middle of the bathroom. Our goal was to get the sea of water down that singular drain. I decided to mop up the kitchen and quickly filled a bucket.
Now here's the amazing part. Adula walks in. My first reaction was, "Get that drunk man out of my house!" He was holding one lonely towel. Ha. Much good that would do! That's when he did the smartest thing of the evening. Using the towel, he captured water and pulled it to the drain. The other instruments were futile compared to this method. Quickly, we rustled up beach towels. My resentment toward Adula quickly turned to major appreciation. The six of us, working, had it mopped up in one hour. Travis was telling everyone today that my water broke. Very funny.
I was reflecting this morning on this hilarious experience. It occurred to me that if this had happened in Bakersfield, I would have first called my parents. They would have said, "Holly, we live two hours away, call a plumber and a flood service." I would have called those services. Funny, but I don't think I would have called my friends and neighbors. Community is mandatory here. I literally wouldn't survive without it. Sure I learned some lessons (major one: never leave laundry unattended), but I also experienced love in action. This is what I'll take back with me.... that and a love for American washers and dryers.
P.S. My computer power cord is out and the apartment Internet connection is down. I'm charging my computer with Stephen's cord since he has a Mac too and getting Internet in my classroom. Community!