I’ve had to defend this on a number of occasions, and yes, I know that it’s stupid. I know that most bottled water is just tap water in a pricy plastic container. I know that regulations for purifying tap water in most states and many other countries are far more stringent than the rules for bottling. I know. But I grew up with well water, so my little toddler spongebrain learned at a young age to equate all taps with smelly, unpurified goo from my own backyard. (This is not even to mention the many teenage hair crises I faced as a result of the hard water.) As with any lifelong phobia, it just is what it is now…I’m terrified of the sink.
Now let me tell you about Sweden. These folks la-la-la-loooove their water. It’s rare to sit down in a restaurant without the waiter mentioning — in some flowery, exaggerated way — just how delicious it is. Some of them will even stand at your table to watch you take your first sip, waiting for the OMG, this really IS the best water I’ve ever had! reaction, which you do sort of feel obliged to give them. I mean they’re just standing there.
We’re a few days into Week 9 now, and I’m still grappling with an iron fortress of sick psychological barriers that keep me from truly enjoying this free OMG water. And so yes, I do still find myself in the supermarket a couple times a week, ogling (sometimes touching) the pretty 1.5 liter bottles of my old beloved companion, Evian. But I will say this — there is one surefire way to cure a phobia, and that is poverty. The smallest bottles of water here are 20 kronor, and depending on this fickle exchange rate, that can be almost $3. For the little ones!
So I drink the tap water.
Most of the time. Ok, not really, I still buy bottles a lot. But under the watchful eyes of waiters, I’ve been drinking a ton of this tap stuff. And for the record it does taste fine, and I do believe them that this water is among the most rockstar amazing liquid, anywhere, ever. But I feel like just admitting that is enough for now.