Monday, January 09, 2006

Salty Water, Nice People

As some of you may know, Qom's water supply is salty. This means they constantly have problems with their pipes wearing out and that it's hard to get a good lather in the shower.

It also means that people buy water (for drinking and often for cooking) from little self-serve kiosks with water pipes. You buy a prepaid card and then fill up your "gallons" (any one of a variety of sizes of plastic jerry-can-looking jugs--from 5-20 liters, but never actual gallons!) at the kiosk.

I took two of our smaller gallons for a fill up last night and my card went from saying "930 liters left", suddenly, to "your card is not valid". I thought perhaps I'd done something wrong or it ran out of water or something, especially since this was a new card.

Soon an older man rode up on a motorcycle with his young son. They asked if it was broken and I explained what happened. So he tried it out and it worked for him. But he refused to let me leave without getting water, insisting that I give him my gallons, which he then filled up. They also explained that sometimes the very small electric chip on the card gets worn down or scratched so that it doesn't work, and perhaps that's what happened.

In any case, just another example of Iranian kindness and hospitality.

~Robert/Irfan Ali


Blogger huma said...

that's sweet -- are you guys using the water to wash your hair too?

11:03 PM  

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