An Ode to Potable Tap Water

Most of our travels were in countries where tap water is considered unsuitable for sensitive American digestive tracts, so it took more effort to stay hydrated. We used our Sawyer water filter a lot (see my earlier MVP post). Many hotels and Airbnbs have electric kettles, so we also often boiled water to refill our Nalgenes. We bought bottled water only when desperate. (We have always avoided buying bottled water and seeing so many plastic water bottles discarded alongside roadways, in fields, and near waterways just reinforced our determination not to buy them.) When we arrived in Athens, we realized that we would be able to drink water from the tap for the rest of the trip, making all of us quite happy. And since we were in Athens, where the ode as a form of poetry originated, I was inspired to write one (or at least, a mini-ode). Thanks to James for his suggestions on this, despite his initial “Um, poetry is not really your strength, is it?” reaction.


At last! In Greece, I fill a glass with tap

Now well-rinsed, no more foam-crusted toothbrush

Washing my face in shower, sink? Sip! Splash!

Ask freely for “ice!” or cold fruity slush

No need to search “Can I drink water in…” 

No morbid thoughts of germs and E-coli 

We’re not in the Global South, nor in Flint 

No plastic bottles in landfills sky high

We love engineers who invent and leaders who invest

To make, store, and deliver pure water: we are impressed! 

Building pipes must be lead-free, too – for children to ingest

Such easy access to clean water: we know we’re so blessed!

The Segovia Aquaduct in Spain, constructed in 1 AD – an impressive example of early water management strategies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: