It's true most of us take water for granted — at least here in Japan or in the United States. It's always available; it's relatively cheap; and it's clean.
It's so clean around here, in fact, that the neighboring town, Saijyo, has water fountains flowing with spring water at the train station. The Asahi Beer Factory is also located in that town and both Niihama and Saijyo are regularly rated as having the purest water in Japan.
So when you wake up in the morning to nothing but air coming out of your tap, you start thinking about how lucky you are — lucky to have a little canal running right in front of your house that blue herons and turtles can be spotted in most days.
But when the water stopped, I decided to call the water company first. They politely told me that there was road construction happening in the neighborhood (yep, I could hear that going on) and it would be a few hours until the water resumed flowing through my pipes.
All right. I could live with that. About an hour later, after trying the local sentō (public bath) — too early yet, closed — and getting a couple of liters of water from the local supermarket to boil for tea, there came a knock on my door.
A man from the road crew was offering to bring me over a few gallons of water to compensate for the inconvenience (and to use to flush my toilet.) I gladly accepted, and a few minutes later he came back with a large container full of water.
Now that's service. I couldn't quite imagine it happening that way back in the states.
And, just after lunch, as promised, the water came back on.