Thursday, June 9, 2011

Go Ahead and Drink the Water

Fear is a great marketing tool. 

The United States has the best water in the world yet there is a multi billion dollar industry that sells tap water in bottles to the gullible public.  Go ahead and drink the tap water and to hell with the bottle water industry.

I have lived for extended periods of time in Mexico, Guatemala and Ecuador under the admonition of "Don't drink the water."   Well I am here to tell you that it is OK to drink the water.  I drank tap water in all three countries the entire time I was there and never had a problem.  The water was fine and I never got sick. 

I have friends  in Mexico who are very wealthy and they have actually given up their garage just to house their water purification system. I have had their water and the water from the tap and they taste the same.  Sometimes having money causes people to lose their good sense.

Another admonition that I loved was about the food.  When I arrived in school in Mexico they told me to never eat the food from street vendors because I would get sick.  Hog wash.  I ate the street vendor food every day and never had a problem.  I especially liked the cups of fresh fruit.  I could watch the vendor actually cut open the fruit and then cut it into bite size pieces right before my eyes.  Yes, his or her hands were dirty but that did not bother me.  

I really liked the kernel corn in a cup slathered in butter.  They would give you a plastic spoon to eat it with.  A plastic fork for the fruit.  

One of the favorite delicacies in Ecuador are Cuy.  Cuy are nothing more than Hampsters or large rats.  They were served grilled on a hot coal spit and were delicious.  You had to get the Mickey Mouse image out of your mind of course.  I wrote about this in my blog four years ago and a young girl commented that I was a terrible person to eat a pet.  My host family actually ordered me a back up meal of roast chicken not thinking I would eat the Cuy.  I ate the chicken too. 

What did bother me was watching cooks in restaurants here in the United States actually spit into someone's eggs or onto some great piece of prime rib or lobster.  Never saw that in my foreign travels.

By the way I never saw that anywhere except in the United States.  Smile and always compliment the server and the chef.   Be careful not to criticize the service or the food because you might end up with a wad of saliva as a condiment.

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