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- The Ruined Water Surprise of South America to the Gringo
I remember the very first day I ever set foot in South America as I wrote here.
It was memorable for a few years.
For one, it was my very first “big” trip in that I began traveling for a long time away from home in which I first arrived to Bolivia.
I had a few other trips beforehand but nothing as big as this.
Second, the taxi driver who took me from the airport was very nice and stopped along the way to my hotel to let me take a picture of the city as you can see here.
While I typically hate taxi drivers in Latin America, he was definitely different from the others.
On top of that, I got to see cool shit soon after my arrival to the country of Bolivia (like the Amazon Rainforest).
But one of the things that was also memorable about my initial arrival had to do with a café or restaurant that I came across in the first few hours upon arriving.
Where, early in the morning, I saw down to enjoy a breakfast.
And, to my surprise, I saw men in zebra costumes dancing around in the street directing traffic as you can see here.
In the moment, I was confused as to why I was seeing zebras dancing around in the middle of the road but shrugged it off as I hadn’t slept well on the flight over to Bolivia and just went along with it.
While waiting for me food anyhow at this café or restaurant, I first got my drink obviously.
A simple glass of water.
What could be wrong about that?
Well, as I wrote here, you do have folks back home who warn you to “not drink the water” because of concerns that it’ll have germs or make you get sick anyhow.
But, truth be told, that wasn’t the issue with this glass of water.
What was the issue?
Well, in the moment, I wasn’t so sure!
I took a sip.
And, in the moment, I immediately coughed and thought “WHAT THE FUCK?!”
The water didn’t make me sick.
Was perfectly fine to drink.
But, in the moment, it tasted NOTHING like water.
There was just something very ODD about the water that, in the moment, I had no way to describe.
Then I picked up the water bottle and examined it.
“Sure looks like a normal water bottle….” I thought.
The water inside even looks like water!
Definitely not the type of water you get in Flint, Michigan anyhow…
So what was the issue?!?
Well, upon examining the bottle, I did notice (with my limited Spanish at the time as this was 8 years ago more or less) the following words: “agua con gas.”
And that did catch my attention.
“Water with gas?” I thought.
I was confused.
To say the least.
At any rate, I kept eating but decided to skip drinking anymore of the water given to me.
“Maybe Bolivians just don’t know how to have good water?” I thought.
Though, as I soon learned, it wasn’t JUST the Bolivians who had this issue.
Over my two years of traveling around Latin America during that period, I learned quickly enough that OTHER countries have this mysterious “agua con gas.”
And that, in order to get PROPER FUCKING WATER, you have to tell them “agua sin gas” or look at the label on the bottle to make sure it is AGUA SIN GAS.
As I type this out now, I think to myself “who the fuck would be satanic enough to offer someone AGUA CON GAS at a restaurant?”
I would understand if you wish to buy it to mix with some liquor but why drink it straight?
It tastes like SHIT.
Who the fuck drinks this shit that they have it around at restaurants in Bolivia and other South American countries?
To be fair, I was only reminded of the topic recently when a guy I know who lives in the UK posted this below here.
He’s from the US (same town as me in Iowa) but now lives in the UK.
And he was complaining about this “weird water” that they have in the UK supposedly.
It reminded me of my time in South America where I had the same issue!
In short, it truly is a type of water that you’d only drink to mix with liquor but, for some odd reason, you got countries where it is commonly offered in restaurants or cafes.
Even to the point that, as I remember it during my times in South America, the waiter would ask you “agua sin o con gas?”
Like why the fuck would you ask me that question?
You think I’m retarded, bro?
Who the hells drinks this?
It really does taste like shit.
I get we all have different taste preferences for drinks or food but I honestly can’t see ANYONE enjoying “agua con gas” by itself.
Must be someone possessed by Satan.
Thankfully, I haven’t had the issue since I arrived and began living in Mexico starting 5 years ago.
Perhaps there are parts of Mexico where “agua con gas” is offered more regularly in restaurants but I can’t remember the last time being offered such demonic water in restaurants nor even asked if I want to drink it.
Despite the issues Mexico has as a country, I guess they’re smart enough to realize “agua con gas” is retarded to drink by itself without mixing it with anything.
In fact, I had to sit down and think “OK, have I EVER had agua con gas in Mexico?”
And the only time I can think of is when I bought some at a Soriana to mix it with liquor.
AS IT WOULD BE INTENDED!
Not at a restaurant.
Perhaps, to a degree, I have been spoiled then, huh?
For I do wonder now if I will be “surprised” once again when I began traveling someday soon in the future?
To arrive to South America once again, sitting tired at a restaurant or café in a place like Bolivia watching Fake Zebras dancing in the street and then unpleasantly surprised by SATANTIC WATER.
Does such a fate await me?
Unless one of my more loyal readers remembers this article and remembers to warn me before whenever that “return trip” to South America happens so that I remember this detail about life in the rest of Latin America and don’t forget to clarify “agua SIN gas” at the restaurants and such.
…..Can one of you please remind me?
If not, I guess I’ll just have to suffer when the day comes!
Either way, the topic is nothing more than that anyhow.
When traveling, you come with “pleasant” and “unpleasant” surprises.
Small and big!
One of those “small and unpleasant” surprises is the shit water you are given – agua CON gas – in specific parts of Latin America.
A small detail to be aware of before your trip down there.
Anyway, if you got anything to add to this relatively small topic, drop a comment below in the comment section.
And follow my Twitter here.
Thanks for reading.