Sunday, May 9, 2010


As I left the apartment yesterday morning to go teach my class, I noticed the elevators seemed to be down. I took the stairs, figuring the supers would sort it out by the time I returned.

But they hadn’t. And there was nothing they could do about it. High winds has torn down Hydro lines throughout the city and in my area, a transformer blew, starting a fire in the transfer station and bringing down the entire neighbourhood. For my electricity-dependent high-rise, this meant: no electric, no heat, no elevators, no water (the pumps are electric!) and no telephone. We were immediately thrust into the Dark Ages.

And the Dark Ages means lots of stair climbing.

True to her name, the Princess doesn’t like going up or down stairs. She prefers to be carried. Okay, with a *lot* of coaxing, I can get her to do it, but it’s a long trip up and down and that’s a LOT of coaxing. I usually end up carrying her. She needs to go out at least four times a day.

And then there’s the problem of water. Since I hadn’t prepared in any way for this outage, I had no bottled water on hand (don’t lecture me: I live in a shoebox and there is NO storage for stuff like that - I buy it as I need it), so I had to buy and then carry 8 litres of the stuff up the stairs. This left me sweaty and stinky, so back down the stairs I went, gamely making my way to the basement sauna room to take a cold (and I mean icy-water-from-the-fridge-cold) shower. Then it was back up the stairs again with a bucket of cold water to use for a sponge bath the next morning.

Up and down and up and down. My legs were aching. There was no light, no hot food. No hot tea. No salt baths (this last one was making me a little bit crazy; I *like* my creature comforts). I managed to mooch wifi, but I had to be conservative with my battery use. I couldn’t flush the toilet. I couldn’t wash the dishes. I’m a tad anal retentive so this was driving me a little bit crazy too.

And the apartment was FREEZING. Oh, did I mention the temperature? It dipped below 0 celcius overnight (I just checked the weather and there are frost warnings on for tonight too). I piled every blanket I owned on the bed and invited Princess Fur to be my bed warmer. And I was still cold. And when I’m cold, I don’t sleep well.

After a night of fitful sleep, there was STILL no power. I trudged down the stairs on rubbery legs, taking the dog for her morning constitutional. The trip back up took twice as long. I suffered through a cold sponge bath, shivering in the bathtub and cursing the Hydro company. By the time I walked back down the stairs to head to the Shala, I was in full Martyr Mode, feeling VERY sorry myself.

Could it get much worse?, I wondered. And at that EXACT moment, I was hit by a cold gust of wind that nearly knocked me off my feet and *then* it started SNOWING. Snowing! In mid-May!!

But I carried on. I moved through my practice like a trooper. I thought my legs would be stiff, but mostly they were just tired. I was trembling in nearly every standing posture. No heroics this morning, I just got the job done. At Urdhva Dhanurasana, I realised I just couldn’t do it. Teacher P asked if I was okay (I was laying on my back, arm flung across my forehead in a gesture of High Drama) and I told him about the stairs. “Do what you can”, he told me.

Right-o. I can’t do any more backbends; I’m a wimp. So I moved on to the finishing postures.

When I returned from the Shala, there was STILL no power *silent scream*

I walked to a community centre I work at to use the showers (I had packed soap and whatnot, just in case). This is one of the two gyms in the city that I have full membership access to. Sadly, I’m almost always too busy to take advantage of the facilities, but I really should. And this is a very NICE gym. They have a steam room *and* a hot tub. Being starved for warmth, I spent some time in both. The hot tub wasn’t quite hot enough to my taste, but the steam room was GREAT. By the time I left, I was in a MUCH better mood.

Next stop: Hot food at the sushi place. Hot tea and miso soup put me right and I followed that up with hot chai and a chocolate croissant at the café down the street. At this point, I was falling asleep at the table, so I headed home to nap. The power...wait for it...was STILL down.

I spent the afternoon reading and then napping, since there wasn’t much else to do. I was just waking up from a 2.5 hour nap when I heard the building buzz back to life and then...the power went off again. But I knew that meant Hydro crews were working on it. Sure enough, by 4:22, we had power and the water came back shortly after. I’ve been happily dish-washing, toilet-flushing and cleaning things up ever since. The elevators are back, the heater is buzzing and the kettle is on.

Best news ever: Salt bath tonight!


Krista said...

Holy shit. what a whirlwind. that sounds brutal. thank god you are healthy. imagine that happened to you and you were 50 pounds overweight and panting the whole time?

good for you for still going to practice after all that! sheesh!

Kaivalya said...

I was actually thinking about that too. I'm healthy and strong and as much as I was whinging about it, walking up those stairs wasn't really a problem for me. But it might have been for neighbours who are elderly or frail. I'm grateful for my health!

Boodiba said...

I might've lost my MIND!! I'm amazed you didn't try to find a friend's place to stay at. You are a trooper! Glad it's over.

Kaivalya said...

I was half-way to insanity by Sunday. If I hadn't gone to the gym to warm up and shower, the deep end would have been my final destination, I think.

The supers kept telling us that 'the hydro crew is on their way' so I thought it would only be a few hours. I could have gone to a friend's house (there were offers). But this was my first weekend off in over a month and I really treasure my solitude when I'm teaching this much (my life is pretty people-saturated).

It's behind me now and I'm grateful for every salt bath! And soon: Moon Day!

Boodiba said...

Ya I know what you mean. I absolutely need my down time too.

And salt baths! I didn't get one today, but I'm glad I went out. Little did I know Monica's NYC trip (made with some other friends) is scheduled to the Nth degree. She was going out after dinner and is planning on practicing two series tomorrow at John's. Party at Pure!