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.
ODE TO POTABLE WATER
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!