Friday, February 20, 2015

blocked drain

Last week I came home from work and realized that the drain on my kitchen sink was blocked.

This is the sort of thing that isn’t a big deal – except that it is.

Its one more problem to solve.
One more thing to figure out.
Its something that is supposed to work that does.

And in my world, there are lots of things that don’t work – and I’m used to that.
I expect it.

And at times, when there are lots of other things going on, it’s really hard (and frustrating and annoying) when something that is supposed to be easy isn’t.

Like when I have to call my internet company 3 times in a week.
Or when the ATM is closed for no apparent reason.
Or when my ATM card gets blocked “for security purposes” cause there are “suspicious” transactions in Kolkata…nevermind that 99% of all of my transactions are in Kolkata.
…I digress.

So my sink was blocked.

And this was at the end of a week that was really hard for me (for lots of reasons).

And I just don’t have it in me to figure out how to unblock my drain.

I mean, theoretically, its an easy problem to solve.
I know how I’d take care of it in America.
I’d go to the most convenient store, and buy some draino.
Done.

But I don’t live in America.
And I’ve never seen Draino here (not that I’ve looked)
And I’m not sure what store to look at
I think a hardware store might be a good place to start.
And I’m afraid they’ll give me something that will eat away at the plastic drain pipe and then I’ll have a bigger mess on my hands.
Its just not as easy as it would be if I was in America.
And I don’t want to solve another problem.
And, I need to get it taken care of – cause the pile of dishes in my (blocked) sink is getting absurd.

So I go to the hardware store – and explain that my sink in blocked and ask if they have anything to fix it.
And they refer me to the paint store – so I head down to the paint store wondering what they’re going to give me.

And wonder of wonders – they hand me this:


A clearly labeled packet.
A powder that will open my drain.
With instructions in English.

And I am amazed at how easy that was.
I am relieved that it was that easy.
Cause that day – I really needed it to be easy.

I mean, it was a little freaky when  I actually put it down my drain. I wish I would have know what it was going to do – I would have taken a video for you. But there was yellow foam coming out of my drain. And smoke.

And then…my drain was clear.

These are the things that aren’t in any manual.

No one tells you about how it will be the most absurd things that will send you over the edge.

No one tells you that one day you will find yourself crying in your kitchen cause you’re out of oatmeal and brown sugar and cinnamon (only that’s not really what’s wrong – it’s just the little thing that pushed you over the edge)

No one tells you about how a blocked drain will suddenly make it feel like the whole universe is against you.

No one tells you about how one day you’ll be mad at a taxi driver, or your tailor for something that seems insignificant – except it’s just one more thing that makes you feel powerless, or out of control, or that it’s one more problem to solve.

And then, every once in awhile – there will be a packet of drain cleaner, with instructions in English.


And you will breathe a sigh of relief, and be giddy at how amazing it is that water, once again, goes down your drain the way it is supposed to.

1 comment:

Gretchen Yurovsky said...

This is one of the best explanations I've ever read of life "overseas" (both for those with difficult jobs, and those with more "cushy" expat existence - this is perfect). I sometimes explain to friends back home that I try to "keep my life as mundane as possible, because when stress hits (and stress always hits eventually) it is just too much overseas, unless I try to keep life mundane.