No, not in that sense. You can still buy alcohol by the gallon within a hundred yards of anywhere. What I’m talking about is the chronic water shortages we are getting at the moment. At any point during the day the water can simply stop coming out of the tap. No warning, nothing. Just no water, or a pressure so feeble it is as good as turned off.
Apparently it affects the whole city, which I can believe as yesterday saw our office without water. I am told that they still use the pipework the Japanese laid down in the 1940s, and that in Soviet times everything fell into disrepair. Now there’s a surprise! The idiots that ran the show back then would have been better leaving Yuri Gagarin on terra firma and making sure everyone had a reliable supply of water instead. It’s not much fun, I can tell you. We had to go out on Saturday without having a shower, which wasn’t so bad for me but for my wife who has some hair that needs washing it was not at all pleasant. It can go off for the whole day, only coming back on in the early evening, and then only at a reduced pressure. By morning it is more or less back to normal, so you dive in the shower and take full advantage as you don’t know when your next one will be.
So far in two weeks we have had two five-hour power cuts and spent three days without water. And it’s not even winter yet.