Friday, February 12, 2010

Home: Three Things I Appreciate


In the month I spent in Chile and Argentina there was only one place that had drinking-quality water on tap. That was in Torres del Paine, and was purely because, being in a national park, the refugio had to be entirely self-sufficient and didn't have the option of nipping around the corner to buy water.

Water was kept on the truck in jerry cans, with water purification tablets thrown in. The other option, if you did not happen to have your bottle handy or were not near the truck, was to buy water.

I take the presence of drinking water for granted, yet I do not. I don't seem to have much in the way of water retention given the speed at which I dehydrate and start to feel bad, so I always carry water on me. I've fainted a few too many times not to. What I take for granted is being able to fill up from any tap.

I was constantly buying water, and feeling guilty for churning through so many plastic bottles, and getting my ire up at having to pay for water in restaurants.

It drove me nuts. Sobering to think that there are people who don't even have non-drinkable water on tap.


Actually, I gripe about this whenever I get back home from overseas. Australia is just insane for brilliant fresh produce. Patagonia, with the distances and largely arid land involved, is not. The fruit was limited to the basics - apples and bananas - and they were sad little things. I practically live on fruit. My body was starving for vitamins within a couple of days. I've been gorging myself on nectarines and apricots since getting back. So far, in my not particularly wide sampling of the world's bananas, Australia is a clear winner.

Toilet Paper

Outside of Buenos Aires, there is no toilet paper in the public toilets. For a day or so there I was living very dangerously. It's nice not to have to carry a wad of toilet paper in my back pocket. Just sayin'.

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