At home, I had never lived in a home or apartment that used gas. I'm used to all electric appliances. Our apartment here in Budapest uses gas for heating, water, and the stove. During our first week, it took us a while to figure out how to light the stove and the oven. Luckily we can buy a large quantity of matches because sometimes it still takes a few tries. The water heater also uses gas to heat the water in cycles. When you turn on the hot water, the heater will turn on to heat the water right then. In the shower, it creates a little bit of a cycle between hot water and warm-ish water. It's not too bad though. Finally, our heat is also generated by gas. Our apartment has 5 radiators which circulate hot water from the water heater.
Just when we thought we had figured out how to use everything we have had to start over. For the past week, we have been without gas. It is a new adventure in itself. We are very fortunate that our landlord brought us some electric space heaters and more blankets. For the kitchen he brought us an electric hot plate and a little pitcher that heats water. It's all enough to get by. Yet we can't wait until we can have hot water for the shower. That is definitely the thing we miss most. Yesterday, we watched the gas company work in our apartment. They came to take down our gas meter last Monday. Yesterday they were changing out the pipes. There were several men who each performed a specific job. One man came in to cut the pipes, another came to pull them down, and another came to fuse on the new ones. He had a large flame thrower/torch which was actually pretty scary looking. After the new pipes were attached, a fourth man came to paint the pipes white. Although we have been working on Hungarian, we don't have the vocabulary specific to gas maintenance. So we don't know exactly what is going on. We do know that the entire building is without gas and that we won't have it back for at least another week. We are very grateful to still have electricity. I don't know what we would do without it. This experience so far has given me some perspective on what I can and cannot live without. We are doing fine but we will appreciate the return of our heat, hot water, and stove.
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