I had absolutely no idea.
Noah had 120 years to make an ark; Jason and I barely had 120 seconds to fold a paper boat. God, in his omniscience and omnipotence, had enough sense to warn everyone to stay in a gigantic ship and hold on to lifesavers, while I had the shock of the year by coming home to a waterlogged condo, socks, heels and paws soaked in inches-high water.
For Mother’s Day weekend, my entire family went on a much-deserved overnight trip to Calatagan, Batangas. Our sickly pug, Fiona, tagged along to experience the therapeutic wonders of sea air. Since I had work on Sundays, I was the obvious choice to stay home with Choky and play house- and dog-sitter.
My role as a human mop was ad-libbed entirely.
To avoid cooking (and there wasn’t a lot of food in the fridge either) and washing dishes (the chore I detest the most), Jason and I had lunch at Max’s before heading off to Makati to pick up our Mother’s Day gifts. There, we learned we had to wait some two hours for Chocolate Fire to open so instead of wasting gas and parking money, we just settled in the nearby 7-eleven, drinking juice (for Jason) and milk tea (for me) while reviewing the literal ups and downs of the stock market.
By four, we walked back to Chocolate Fire where, after conversation with the owners, Jason went a little overboard with his choosing. I, on the other hand, already knew what I wanted for mama from our very first Chocolate Fire trip so picking didn’t take too long. After careful deliberation of the “right” packaging, we were off, back to Katipunan to check up on Choky and to put the chocolate in the fridge.
Outside our unit, I could see yellowish water seeping through the walls. I didn’t really think about it much until I opened the door and was surprisingly greeted with a puddle so gigantic that it covered almost the entire floor plan–from the kitchen, the dining room and my brother’s little corner to the living-area-turned-tapunan-ng-stuff and the two bedrooms. From the door, only several inches of floor was left dry. The kitchen sink brimming with water was the immediate culprit but since no one used it the whole day, the hypothesis that it was left dripping was highly improbable.
I called Jason with a simple “Oh my God” then stepped into the premises in silk heels yelling for Choky. He trotted out from the second-bedroom-turned-closet, paws yellow-stained with a confused expression on his otherwise relieved face. After a welcome hug and kiss, I patted his tummy–it was dry so I knew that there were still some dry areas (I refuse to believe that Choky was standing up the whole afternoon).
Jason and I surveyed the damage–the flood reached both bedrooms, as far as under the beds and cabinets but they were still largely dry. For once in Fiona’s two-year-old life, I was thankful that she had inherited the annoying doggy habit of gnawing on wires, forcing us to make the entire house doggy-proof and free from Fifi’s sharp little teeth. Electronics-wise, we were safe. We just really had a lot of cleaning to do.
I called my mom to tell her what happened. She told me that she had placed a bucket under the kitchen sink to catch any leaks. I checked it and it was empty, without so much as a drop of water, confirming that the source of the flood came elsewhere.
She also said that we should call Tong, the condo plumber who lived just across our compound to check the situation. A few minutes later, he and someone else arrived carrying a dustpan, some sponges and a few tools.
Using dustpans and towels, Jason and I scooped the water into pails while the plumbers worked. After several minutes, Tong announced that he couldn’t be totally sure what caused it although he had a few experienced guesses–including water from the second and third floors seeping down our pipes. He informed us that he wouldn’t be able to fix it though without the proper tools and that he’d come back the next day. I couldn’t exactly make him leave without assuring us that the likelihood of another flood was zero to none so, he put a stopper on the leak (although he couldn’t promise that it would stop it completely). Without anything else to do, he and his companion helped us clean up.
When most of the water had been scooped up and flushed into the toilet, I patted dry the bedroom and living area using old towels and toilet paper; the bedroom-turned-closet, we blew-dry–all while praying that I wouldn’t wake up to the same mess. Jason was such a trooper as usual–helping me clean up when he didn’t have to and, even against his own advice that I should just wait for the damp floor to dry up, helped me wipe every wooden tile with tissue.
When he wore the stinky blue plastic bathroom shoes, bells rang in my head. He was the ONE! (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) ❤
On Sunday, I filed an emergency leave from work to further clean up, mop up the flooding and to wait for Tong to work his magic. It took a whole afternoon of really noisy air-pressurize thingamajig to fix it and more than once, the entire kitchen floor was sloshed by a sudden and heavy gush of water.
Finally, he stood up and announced “Tapos na,” then left. I didn’t miss that fact that he said “tapos na” and not “ayos na” which left me the impression that the solution isn’t long-term and another flood is more than improbable.
1. It was only a few inches deep but having zero flood experience, it still felt like cleaning a swimming pool.
2. The water was clean! Our unit is cursed in the sense that everything that goes wrong in the building manifests in our unit! The most major problem of which is poop (as in other tenants’ manure) coming out of our bathroom drain every few months! Tremendously disgusting and seriously unhealthy, other tenants’ selfishly refuse to have it fixed because apparently opening up the poso negro is “olfactorily unpleasant.” So, in exchange for a few days of discomfort, we have to endure everyone else’s crap, literally. Had it been poopy water, I would’ve grabbed Choky and gone to my sister’s house in a snap.
3. Ironically, it rained really hard the next day. My flood was a day early.
4. The wooden floor is ruined!
5. It was actually fun after the initial shock wore off. Stuff like this happen only in the movies and it happened to us! Would’ve have been more cinematic if it had been the first date! hahaha.