The thing that I will miss most about living in Mexico is a 20 L Bottle of water and a bomba sifon (hand pump). I know that sounds silly, but there is something very restorative about looking into how much water you are drinking on a daily basis and seeing the financial cost of consuming water.
In America, we are spoiled for water. I can turn on the tap and drink freely to my heart’s content, it costs me next to nothing, and it has been that way my whole life. Even when I was living on a farm as a young man, I never had to worry about the contents of the water.
But here in Mexico, I have been told time and time again not to drink the water from the tap. Doesn’t matter what state you are in, don’t do it. Do I know, or have hard facts that the water is unsafe? No. But do I disregard what I have been told/read about the water? No. So I buy refills of a 20 L Bottle.
In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, Oaxaca and in Cancun, I have been buying water for my family to drink clean, water. Some days I catch a water salesman shouting from the street, “AGUA!” Other days I am seduced by the soft voice coming from a loud speaker mounted to a truck, “La agua…” And days like today I have to carry my deposit bottle to either a convenience store or a grocery store, and carry 20 L of water home.
The cost of the water really isn’t all that much. In most places they sell a refill of 20 L for around 30 MXN (~1.50 USD). Strangely, in Oaxaca it was almost half that when purhcased from a salesman. And my household of two adults and an infant go through 20 L every three-four days. And so on this trip of nearly 33 days, we have gone through roughly 200 L of water, which will mean we spent a little under 300 MXN (~15 USD) just for water. In a year, that is 2.4 Kilo Liters, or 3600 MXN (~180 USD).
So why am doing all this math? Because I have never had to living in America. I have never visably watched my family go through water, I have never had to consider the economics of it, I have never had to be sold water by salesmen, or had to lug a huge bottle of water home. Now that I have, I understand what a beautiful and expensive gift it is to having clean water that comes straight from the tap.
This new found appreciation for water, and so many other gifts, would have never come my way had I just stayed home and continued working for work’s sake. Don’t make the mistake of working for work’s sake. The world, and all her gifts, are waiting for you.