It’s safe to say I have ventured around the world several times. I think I have visited over 36 countries in my travels and hundreds of cities.
My husband and I took a trip to Hong Kong and Bangkok recently. It was during our time in Hong Kong, a city with 7 million people, the best public transportation system we have ever seen, and sky scrappers that would put New York City to shame, that it dawned on me. Most of the world doesn’t have water that they can drink straight out of the tap.
The government in Hong Kong says the drinking water is fine leaving the water treatment facility, but they can’t guarantee that it’s potable when it gets to your house. After doing research we learned most locals boil their water before drinking. Apparently we were suppose to wash our dishes during dim sum with the boiling water they brought us. We had already poured tea in our cup. The lady from the table over made us dump it out and told us “eww dirty dirty.” I wonder what she thinks of the street food we ate for dinner the night before?
It comes at a shock that in most of China the water must be boiled. As American’s we know not to drink the water in obvious places like Mexico and South America. But you must add Asia to the list, (albeit Japan, South Korea, and Singapore). It sounds like most locals in Russia also boil their water before they drink. I’ve drank the water in Eastern and Western Europe and lived. Including some Balkans states, and survived. LET ME BREAK IT DOWN:
United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Argentina.
There that’s it! * These are the only places in the whole entire world that you can safely drink your tap water.
So, I bring this up because I feel lucky! I’m so thankful that I can brush my teeth with tap water, take a shower with out worrying that I will get sick from some dripping in my mouth. I’m glad I can make ice without having to boil then cool it down.
We travel to see the world, enjoy the culture, and taste the world. However, we always end up with a better respect for how lucky we were to be born in the United States. Plenty of air conditioning, heat, food so plentiful that 35.7% of American’s are obese, cars galore, low unemployment, education, and equal opportunity.
*Of course that’s not all the countries, but that sums it up pretty good.