No, not that kind…
And oh, what a difference it made!
I still don’t know how I lived a month without gas when I first came to site. Being unable to cook for the three days it took me to change my gas tank this time around caused enough stress. Cooking my meals in the evening is a huge stress relief for me and to not be able to do that for a few days? Disaster!
Getting gas in my town is a little adventure. Here’s what it takes:
1. Wait for your gas to go out – your clue will be your stove doesn’t light and that quinoa that you have waiting to cook will sit uncooked for days.
2. Unhook the hose and nozzle from the gas tank – stand back from irrational fear that something will shoot out when you do so.
3. Lug the empty tank out to your front step – try not to bump the walls and take the paint of your host family’s newly painted hall.
4. Hail a ‘caponera’ (three-wheeled bicycle taxi) – this may take a few minutes of yelling trying to get the attention of man taking a siesta on top of his bike and require you to recruit the help of some of your students who are heading down the street to wake him up.
5. Hold on to your gas tank as you drive over the cobblestone streets – these are tricky little things, quite the movers and shakers, be cautious! Also, hold onto your hat as your caponera takes a turn – que peligroso!
6. Attempt to help the caponera driver unload the tank into the corner store – but really just stand back and watch as he does it for you.
7. Buy caponera driver a Pepsi as an extra “thanks” – he really did not have to lift that tank for you…
8. Answer, otra vez, questions about who you are and why you are in that store buying gas – “You are not German?!” “What do you mean you live and work here?” “By yourself?!”
9. Hop back on the caponera and brace yourself for the trip home – this time with a fully loaded gas tank to balance on the cobblestone ride!
10. Get dropped off and wrestle the tank back into your casita – those things are heavy! They even leave imprints on your hands…whew, battle scars.
11. Reconnect the hose and nozzle to the tank – once again, stand back for irrational fear that the thing will explode on you.
12. Thank God for not having stomach hair – because when you light the stove again that first time, a mushroom cloud of fire explore out.
Yes, that happened.