Being on a frugal income and me being unemployed, we had to adjust in a very limited budget. It meant being without a refrigerator, television or any decent furniture. The apartment was comfortable but it had a very peculiar and exasperating factor, Water !!!
Every apartment used to get water supply for exactly 20 minutes for the entire day. This water was to be used for bathing, washing clothes and flushing the loo etc.. The water pump started at unearthly hours every morning, which meant getting up and making sure that every pot and pan, tub & bucket in the house was filled to its brim with water, which would then be sparingly used for the entire day.
Everyday without fail at that unearthly hour, I would manage to rub sleep from my eyes and pray for a miracle to happen, the water pump man should forget to shut off the pump . I am sure, all that praying has definitely wiped out all the sins I've ever committed.
The anguish of water shortage was whipped up when we had a guest over for Lunch/Dinner and reached a frenzied pitch when a guest planned to stay with us for a day or two. I could have given 'FBI' a run for their money as I monitored every move the guest made and kept tabs on how many trips they made to the loo or washed their hands.
Even the simplest of activities like washing my face was like a 'Manna' at that time. This experience made me realize that, I always took 'Water' for granted and thought that it will always be available in plenty. I then realised that water was as precious as GOLD and now treat it with great respect.
P.S: Even after moving away from that apartment, I had a recurring nightmare for many months. 'I get up to fill the buckets and just kept waiting and waiting and there is no water in the taps'.