Friday, 19 November 2010

~Su~ Life~ Su~

I normally never liked drinking water. Many of my relatives from my father's side don't like drinking water either and they suffer from kidney problems. After I got pregnant, I started drinking water more and more.. And there came a moment of realisation that water is LIFE! My baby needs water to exist so I drink lots of water.

In Geography lessons, teachers told us that 2/3 of the world consists of water. In Biology lessons, teachers told us that 2/3 of our bodies are made up of water. So, I thought that would be a great topic for a travel blog :) Wherever you travel, water is one of the most crucial needs. In some countries you can just turn the tap on and drink water from the tap. In some countries, tap water is even not good for brushing your teeth :(

Among all countries I have been to, Sweden has the best drinkable tap water. You just turn the tap on and you have water as if from the source of a spring. It's refreshing and nice. The least drinkable (!) tap water I had was in Brussels. The quality of the water is so horrible that in supermarkets / cornershops they sell water syrups. What's water syrup? It's basically concentrated aroma and sugar that you add into your water glass so that you don't hate the water you're drinking from the tap. While I lived in Brussels, I had two bottles of water syrup: strawberry and mint. I couldn't drink either of them and when my husband tried to finish them (in order not to waste them) he commented: “I always wanted to try drinking mouth wash. If I feel like drinking mouth wash, I drink my water with the mint syrup. If I want to drink my water with coughing syrup sensation, I try the strawberry syrup” :) Well, I tried Brussels tap water for a week and after I kept on having diarreahea for a week, I started buying bottled water from Delhaize supermarkets.

In Turkey, noone drinks water from taps (at least in the western part of Turkey). It's mainly because the pipes in Turkey are old and not clean. But Turks have a good system for bottled water. When I used to live in the UK, we had to go to supermarkets and carry bottles of water from the supermarkets but in Turkey there’re lots of bottled water companies almost in every corner. You just call them, or if it’s very nearby you go to the shop and order your water. In 5 minutes or so, a guy brings 20 litres of water to your door for only 1 or 2 quid. It’s also environmentally friendly because you don’t waste water bottles, each time the water guy comes, he takes the previous one back and sends it to the factory to be cleaned and filled again with water. I guess this is partially environmentally friendly. Many people drink tap water in the UK, but if you ask me, it tastes horrible and it makes me really sick :(

Water and hair: The best water for washing my hair was in the UK. It was miraculous! My hair always had a great volume and it didn’t get fuzzy. But my experience in Turkey and South Korea was horrible. In Korea (well at least in Seoul), as far as I know, they just recycle water. So the water you use was possibly used by someone else before you. And the urban myth for this is Korean water increases the amount of hair you have!!! Particularly in Istanbul the water quality is very poor. Possibly water quality is better in Anatolia compared to Istanbul. Well, I have no idea about what they add into the water of a city of 16 million people.

Another thing about water is rain!!! I don’t know if it is another urban myth or not but what I heard was you should avoid rain touching skin/ face in Korea and England. The wind coming from China to Korea and the wind coming from France to England carry industrial particles that can be harmful for people who are exposed to the rain water...

In New Zealand, they use rain water as their drinking water (except in cities). Everyone has a water tank and they compile water in it throughout the year. My husband told me when he was a kid, he had to go to dentist to have fluoride treatment because they didn’t have any fluoride in the water that they used daily. Well, who would guess that there is an advantage of using city water!

Extra useless information: In Korean, every week day is attributed to an element. So the word for Wednesday is Su-yoil which mean water day. Interestingly, the word "su" (water) comes from Chinese and in Turkish su means water as well. I guess this word shows it well that in modern Turkish we still use the words that Turks brought with them from the Central Asia more than a thousand years ago.

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