Monday, June 05, 2006

Cheating neighbours

Cape Town had severe water restrictions about two years ago. As the water reserves dropped lower and lower with very little hope of rain, they got progressively worse, At one stage, the restrictions were that bad that it made almost no sense watering the garden. Beautiful gardens all over the city got drier and drier. Favourite plants withered and died. If you were caught watering your garden you could be liable for extraordinarily high fines. City residents were urged to report any infringement of the restrictions as official policing of the restrictions was impractical, virtually impossible.

Spying on your neighbours became a new pastime. Evening the score with unpleasant neighbours had never been easier!

The telltale tic-tic-tic of a sprinkler and the occasional sound of water sloshing out of a hosepipe at 4am was enough for us to know that several of our neighbours (we're bordered by 7 houses) were cheating. It annoyed us intensely. The browner our garden got, the more annoying it was. We didn’t do anything about it and, apart from the neighbour in front, we weren’t sure who the cheats were.

Well, now I know that they were ALL cheating!

Google maps has recently added Cape Town to its list of cities for which it has aerial maps. It took a bit of effort finding my house but I eventually did. Had I known better, I should simply have looked for the brown patch surrounded by a sea of green. Yep, I have all the proof needed to show that we didn’t cheat but our neighbours did.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You can’t hide from Google!

UPDATE: Here is the aerial map of where I live in Cape Town.


Blogger kyknoord said...

Except for the ones with boreholes or well-points, of course.

1:11 pm  
Blogger Saddle Up said...

I read yesterday that parts of Kent in the UK have been classed as deserts now!

How mad is that?

2:52 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

kyknoord: Indeed. However, I know for a fact that 3 lots of them don't have alternative water sources. One does. I checked to see if the others had signs posted outside, as many houses do, to say that they are using borehole water but there weren't any.

saddle up: Must be the greenest desserts anywhere!

3:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can hide from google at my coverage of nottingham is shit!

Tra la la

3:14 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

Given how vital water is its amazing how little people value it... or value it being available in the future...

mind you hose pipe bands in the UK are rather unpalatable when you discover just how much the water companies leak!

3:44 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

Tee hee I wonder what a hose pipe band sounds like...

Sort of didgeridoo?

3:45 pm  
Blogger Vitor said...

Some people are so stupid!

Whay are they going to drink when we run out of water? Which will happen soon if we don't start taking care of our most precious resource!

Only 1% of all the water on the Earth is drinkable. Think about it.

8:52 pm  
Blogger Rob7534 said...

We must desalinate the oceans immediatly!

Or go out and catch those large ice burgs, and tow it home.

6:50 am  
Blogger whatalotoffun said...

Did you miss me?well after all the rain we still have water restrictions. I tried that google map but I guess its only for the UK people. Glad I can read your blog again know its catching up time. I got so frastrated when I could not go into your blog. Glad its all over know I thought for a minute that you did not like me and that you blocked me HaHa jokes. I will just google you, you cant hide from google

12:42 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

JP: You’re right, the satellite map of Nottingham doesn’t allow you to get as close to the ground as the Cape Town one. Oddly enough, however, no street map of Cape Town is given at all whereas the Nottingham is very detailed.

Caroline: A didgeridoo sounds just about right for a hose piper band! The theme song could be Tubular Bells.

Vitor: They are stupid but it’s more a case of being selfish and wanting to preserve those pretty gardens of theirs.

Rob7534: One of these days, desalination will become a cheap enough option for it to be used in parts of the world where it was considered too expensive until now.

whatalotoffun: Of course I missed you! Glad to know you’re back. Actually, I checked East London on google maps and it is there. I didn’t see how close to the ground I could get but you can check. You need to type in East London South Africa then press enter. It will say that no maps are available. Then click on ‘satellite’ towards the right, top side of the page and you will get there.

1:29 pm  
Blogger Vitor said...

Looks like a nice olace to live :)

8:36 pm  
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