Saturday, August 05, 2006

Out of gas... Cooking gas

today, there was only enough cooking gas to make that first cup of tea and then kaput.  No more cooking gas.  This is one of the hardest things to adjust to here in india.  the bare necessities of life do not flow freely from the taps in your house.  An electric motor pumps water from the sump to a tank on the roof of the house; cooking gas comes in cylinders, and electricity usually goes out for a few hours a day.  

Cooking gas (LPG - light propane gas) comes in cylinders similar to the ones used in propane gas grills in the US.  However, american propane cylinders come with gauges to indicate how much gas is really there; there are no such gauges on the indian cylinders.  

How do you know that you are really getting what you pay for?, i asked my father-in-law.  “by the weight of it,” he told me...but i have never seen him lift one yet.  my kid sister-in-law insists that based on the pattern of cooking and consumption in the house, the cylinder should last x number of days.  

i think there is some sort of government control on the consumption of cooking gas.  we have accounts with two LPG outlets, and each time we order a cylinder, we cannot order another cylinder from the same outlet for two weeks.  somehow, we have about four gas cylinders sitting about the kitchen and storage areas at one time.  right now all four cylinders are empty.  we are due one cylinder of gas, but we did not call the outlet to remind them them about it, and so will have to wait until monday noontime to get it.

this is the third or fourth time this has happened since we came last september.  each time, tea-starved household members hunt for a scapegoat to slaughter.

why can’t they just put gauges on the darn things?  

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