18 Sep, 2008

Lines continue to build up at…

18 Sep, 2008

Lines continue to build up at the gas stations and grocery stores. And Allen Parkway is flooded still.

While Galveston has been badly affected and is truly facing a crisis, in Houston for most communities, life is not terrible. Some people are dealing with collapsed roofs and homes but the biggest hardship that most people face is living without electricity. (Maybe it’s easier for me to deal with this shortage since I’ve lived it so many times over in Karachi.)

Many people are buying generators. Others camp out at friends’ homes or at local cafés. Today, at Café Flores we are meeting our neighbors. There is food and coffee and we take breaks from our laptops and mobile phones to visit with each other. Needless to say, electric outlets are in high demand and we take turns to use them for our equipment. Children play dominoes and marbles or read books.

Yesterday, when stopped by a traffic light that was working, we saw yet another long line of cars building up outside a Shell station. Minal listened to an argument breaking out between a police officer and an angry driver.

“Why are they fighting?” she asked. “If they don’t get gas, they can walk.”

It’s amazing how simple life can get when resources are limited.