October 24, 2011

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.


11 comments :

Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane said...

Smells, oh yum. As a kid I lived in Rotterdam for some time and if the wind blew from a certain direction, we got hit by the odors coming from a huge commercial slaughterhouse. Trust me, this was not a fresh wind.

I don't mind good old country smells like cow manure (being Dutch) but that slaughterhouse stink was truly noxious.

Anonymous said...

Absolute bummer. Maybe our tendency to treat this smell as doubly offensive stems from the primeval instinct of ejecting (defecating) invaders on our turf. Thank Goodness we've lost the urge to mark our territories.

Bing said...

It's bad! We were at Mireille's house and it was the first thing that hit us as soon as we got out of our car. Like a tornedo. We bent over, literally. We thought it was cow manure too!

Sine said...

Yikes, now I'm glad it's not slaughterhouse, that would probably be worse. Sorry to pierce your cow manure bubble, Bing!

cat said...

And I thought it was a water supply pipe - not sewer! Gosh, so sorry for you guys.

martina-in-jozi.com said...

I had never even heard of a sewage pipe running over land until we moved here, and they really went to town with the design of this one - I also thought that it was a railway line when I saw it! I hope that the plant will be back up running soon and the smell will be no longer

Anonymous said...

This brings back the conversation we had at Jamila. We used to play under that pipe when growing up and when I heard they were building an exclusive area around it I did think it was going to be removed ...
Really been enjoying all the blogs, as I am now a UK expat the blog has made me "miss" some parts of SA :)

Sine said...

Hi D, it was so nice to meet you both at Jamila, I'm glad you came to check out my blog! Greetings to the other D and thanks again for the elephant video, it was very well received here at home...

Mizasiwa said...

Were we live near the game reserve no less there must be some kind of slaughter house becouse some days when the wind is blowing in our direction we have the destinct smell of dead flesh its horrible!!! thankfully not every day!

W. A. Jeffrey said...

I'd like to know if they ever got things working again before you moved away. As I've said before, I am not that much interested in the Dainferns but it would be nice to know nonetheless. I kind of expect that it has been fixed as a quick perusal through the real estate sites shows the properties there to be higher than some of the neighboring suburbs. A longstanding nuisance usually drives prices down eventually.

Sine said...

Yes, it seems to have been fixed as I never heard of other problems. Dainfern is typically higher because of the high concentrations of expats there, with corporate paymasters. And expats continue to flock there because it has such a long safety record. I don't think nowadays it's any safer than any other place, but it was able to build such a reputation among corporate relocation specialists that it to this day attracts expats in high numbers. Plus, it just has nice houses and, again, willing renters who don't bat an eye at 54,000 ZAR per month.