Water: Clean, Dirty, Hot, Cold

I will start by saying this: don't drink tap water. Duh!

I discovered a new quirk about running water in our house: It is dependent on how much water is running in the house next door. If we wake up and can hear that they have the hose running into their imaginary above ground pool or whatever excuse they have for running their hose for hours, that means we can’t shower! If they are running their water, our sink upstairs doesn’t work at all, the sink/toilet downstairs have minimal water pressure, and nothing comes out of the showerhead.

We take clean, consistent water for granted in the U.S. If you wake up hungover here and the big water jug is empty, you can’t just fill up a glass of water from the sink. You can wait for water to boil and then cool it down in the fridge OR walk to the tienda on the corner and buy bottled water. When I am in Europe, I buy bottled water once a week and fill it up for free in various bathroom sinks for the next 7 days. Not even many locals would do that here. I was helping out a first grade teacher here at the school and a little girl turned on the classroom sink and started drinking from it. The teacher stopped her immediately and yelled, “Esta sucio!” (it’s dirty). Even local stomachs could not adapt to this water.

Don’t bother running the shower to cover the sound of you pooping, by the way. As soon as you flush either the shower will stop running or there won’t be enough water pressure to flush the toilet.

One thing that I had trouble adapting to a few summers ago but am now used to is the lack of water heaters. Instead, they have electrical showerheads that heat the water as it sprays out. There are a few disclaimers that should come with these: If you touch the showerhead for whatever reason while the water is running, you will get shocked. Girls shaving your armpits, BEWARE! Also, the faster the water is coming out, the less effective the showerhead is, so if you want hot water you should leave the water pressure at a slow drizzle. At my house now, the showerhead is new so we actually have really hot water and high water pressure which is lucky.
Just a few pointers for dealing with water here!


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