Living Under the $#!&pipe

I’m only so wholesome as to disguise my spelling because I can’t remember if I signed away my rights to foul language under whatever agreement I must have entered with Blogger, and I don’t want to be reprimanded. I hate to be reprimanded. Or banned, that would be even worse, as my blog has become slightly addictive.

In any case, my topic today is exactly that, $#!&. I smell it when I wake up in the morning. I smell it when I take a break (from writing these posts) on my patio with a cup of cappuccino, and I smell it at night before I go to bed. At first we suspected our cat, who lately has taken to doing her business in the flowerbed rather than her litter box. Noisette in particular was quick to suspect her, which would give him another reason to dislike pets. Okay, her confusion during a recent thunderstorm and subsequent usage of Jabulani’s bed for her business might have given him a tad more reason for dislike.

But it wasn’t the cat. The whole of Dainfern has been blanketed by this smell. At some point there was speculation that the strong whiff came from a nursery across the river that was stocking newly arrived lawn dressing mixed with cow manure. But the lawns have long been dressed and the smell continues. It’s too bad that theory didn’t work out, as there is a huge difference between what one actually smells and what one THINKS or KNOWS one smells. I would have been perfectly happy being stunk up by cow manure, but human waste? Ugh! Sadly, that is exactly what it is. From the sewage pipe gracing our neighborhood, which I so foolishly mistook as a train bridge when I first saw pictures before moving here.

It actually looks quite pretty, doesn’t it?


A reader of mine commented sometime back that he couldn’t believe they would build such an exclusive neighborhood under that infamous pipe, and I have to say I agree. I believe I detected a tiny bit of schadenfreude in that comment, knowing I would have felt the same had we not been able to move into precisely that estate. (If you’re a prospective expat looking at the Dainfern area, you might take note that things are going from bad to worse in a heartbeat – first a shooting and now this). But actually, not so much the pipe itself is the culprit (threats a while back of it leaking due to thieves dismantling it of its aluminum siding didn’t come true) but the destination of what’s in the pipe, which is the water treatment plant over the next hill.

Apparently, two out of the three water basins at that plant are presently out of commission, and the remaining one naturally can’t keep up. I am trying not to imagine what this actually looks like. When this situation might be fixed, no one knows of course. In another country I might feel inclined to file a complaint and investigate further, but here I don’t have the energy. As long as everyone is suffering along with me, I can bear it. In fact, that has been my mantra in South Africa: Joint suffering is okay.

The good news is, the jasmine is now in full bloom, so our neighborhood odor has been upgraded from plain poop to someone having pooped into the potpourri.

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