4 days without tap water, Koreans have diverse experiences
Bostonkorea  2010-07-21, 12:19:18 
HyunChon Kim
Translated by Kelly Choi

baby shower with spring water, consume instant rice

Last Saturday, a water pipe burst in the Boston metropolitan area surprised many Koreans and caused alerts about disasters.  Supermarkets in the affected area were out of water from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon, and people had trouble purchasing plastic tableware. Fortunately, regular water service resumed on Tuesday, May 4th, and no incident or accident due to the burst pipe has yet been reported. Here are some stories about how Koreans got by during the event.

Youngha Kim, Lexington
The family, with a 7 month-old and 12 years and 7 years children, received an emergency phone call from City Hall on Saturday afternoon. The family didn’t take it seriously, and ate out at pizza restaurant. When Mr. Kim went to a grocery store to get water for his kids, he realized no water was left. He needed water for the baby’s formula and for the children, so he went to a BJ’s in Stoneham to get water. However, the line for water was 50 meters, and he had to wait one hour to buy water. On Sunday morning, the next day, he went to City Hall after receiving a call that they were giving out water, but traffic was heavy. After getting water, Mr. Kim went to a Korean market to buy instant rice packs and readymade side dishes, and subsisted on them for the next 3 days.  “I guess Massachusetts is not safe from natural disasters ” Mr. Kim said.

Jungyoon Park, Housewife from Stoneham
Mrs. Park had trouble with giving her 4 month-old a bath. Thinking she couldn’t bathe her baby with water that might be contaminated, she decided to use spring water instead. Afterwards, she realized there was no more water, and the markets nearby were out of water as well. In a bit of a panic, she went to New Hampshire on Sunday, and bought 10 1-gallon bottles of spring water. Fortunately, sterilizing baby bottles was not an issue,  since she breastfeeds her child.

Miyoung Lee, Housewife from Bedford
Mrs. Lee was a church leader in charge of lunch on Sunday. She got a notice on sunday morning, and realized not only Bedford, but also the area the church is located in were at risk as well. Mrs Lee reviewed plans for lunch, and went to a market nearby, but couldn’t get water. She went to Bilerica to get water, and thought sandwiches for her fellow churchgoers’ lunch would be a good idea.  She bought bread and vegetables to feed the churchgoers. She said she realized sometimes that a Western style meal could be more convenient than a Korean style meal. after lunch, but most of them left church early to get water. Later she heard Bedford was not at risk. “I should have made my kids take a shower. They are filthy,” said Mrs Lee, smiling.

Jongha Lee, A Student from Allston
Mrs. Lee couldn’t hear the news because she did not watch TV on Saturday, and enjoyed sleeping in on Sunday. She usually uses Brita filters, and thought the water tasted strange that day. She thought it’s because she did not keep the water bottle clean. She did not drink boiled water on Sunday, got a stomachache, and took some medicine. Later on Sunday, she heard the news, and resented her friends for not alerting her. 

Suyoung Sung, A Student from Brookline
Suyoung Sung is a student and expects to be a father in one month. The day the pipe burst was the day of his baby shower. He wondered if he should postpone the party, but decided to not to do it, out of concern for rescheduling his guests. His guests were supposed to bring some food, so he had to prepare vegetables and fruits, and he washed them off with spring water. Since he does not have a car yet, he was soaked with sweat moving water gallons. “It’s supposed to be a baby shower, but I took a shower with sweat! I can never forget the day” said Suyoung.
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