20 March 2011

Hot Water

So this photo doesn't look like much, but it's part of an unusual story.  We were walking by another section of this street where a couple of men were working next to a small trench. There was a long strip of insulation next to the trench.  We both thought it was a little odd, since you don't often see people out digging in the street, especially with insulation.  But we kept walking till one of the men came up to us and asked if we were German (everyone assumes we're German; Australian is a common second guess; and my husband gets Turkish sometimes when he speaks Uzbek (no one would ever guess I'm Turkish); but it's extremely rare for anyone to think we're American).  It turned out he spoke English and he told us that they were installing pipes for heating the neighborhood's homes with hot water.  I've mentioned before how dirty and difficult coal heating is, and how expensive gas is, so hot water can be a good option.  So this neighborhood got a grant to help pay for the project, then worked with various levels in the city, from individual neighbors and the block committee, to the mayor's office who let them borrow an excavator.  Now there are about 15 homes that will have hot water heating in their houses next winter.  I hope we can talk to him again to learn more about the process.  Definitely fascinating and wonderful.

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