Can We Talk – Water?
June 28th, 2010 by Les

Stephen Wright, American Actor, wrote: “I bought some instant water one time but I didn’t know what to add to it!”

Dave Barry, American Humorist, wrote: “Not all chemicals are bad.  Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.”

The next time you think you are perfect, try walking on water.  It can be done, I think, here.  I know there are lots of unkind remarks about the water in Mexico.  Unkind aside, there is truth to the statement.  The water is suspect.  No doubt about it.  Mexico would never be mistaken for the Land of Sky Blue Waters.

Even the locals seem to have water delivered.  The good thing about water delivery is people travel through neighborhoods shouting “aqua” constantly and all you need to know how to say is Uno or Dos.  They carry it into our home and retrieve empty bottles upon leaving all for just 14 pesos – mere pennies in USD.

I tired to think about water the other day, but nothing happened.  Which is precisely my argument; I never thought about water much.  I’m quite sure all my eco-concerned friends will not be happy hearing me admit to this lack of thought.  But there it is I’ve put it on the table.  I took water for granted.

One good thing I’ve noticed about the water here in Mexico, after a shower my hair, which is baby fine, has much more body.  I try not to think about why I just look at the volume as a positive and go about my merry way.  Again, thinking, even once in a while, can be highly over-rated.

To take this one step further, I used to know someone – she was born in Finland – who used bleach when washing her dishes.  Not a lot.  Just a few drops.  My first reaction was: “ewe, how can you even think about putting bleach in your water”.  Well folks, I now not only put bleach in my dish water, I wash my fresh fruits and vegetables with a touch of bleach and, go figure, think nothing of it.

When we first arrived here many people said we should be prepared, at some point we would be visited by flu-like symptoms and the need for quick trips to the porcelain princess.  Knock on wood, neither of us has had that happen as yet.  We anticipate it.  We are eternally grateful that it hasn’t happened so far.

Something odd that has happened has to do with our wash machine.  Yes folks, I dragged our washer and dryer down to Mexico with us.  Had we known how inexpensive it is to get things laundered we would not have done so.  It costs approximately $5.00 USD to get three loads of wash done a week.  Since we lugged the washer and dryer down here it behooved us to attempt to use it.

Well, the dryer has never worked.  The correct electric outlet has been placed in the laundry room – it has never worked.  We simply get puzzled looks from everyone we’ve had in to fix it.  It does come in handy as a sort-of table that I’d truly be lost without.

I used to wonder: why is it when things get wet they get darker, even though water is clear.  I know longer wonder about that.  The washer does work.  Again, we were told ahead of time the water is dirty.  We do not have a filter system on our washer.  To step back, when we had our clothes laundered the one thing that stood out was the chemical smell – especially on the sheets.  Neither of us like that smell.

So, undaunted I began washing my own clothes.  Low-and-behold as time passed I noted the whites were not getting that sparkly clean look any longer.  Mysterious spots were appearing where there had been none.  Even David’s clothes, which acquire spots of their own volition, had more spots then usual.  Then I looked at my washer and the drum had a brown tint to it.  Heck, this is more then dirty water when it can dis-color the washer drum.

I do get a certain amount of satisfaction out of hanging the clothes up to dry. I am surprised to say, I don’t mind not having a dryer as the weather here is great for drying clothes and leaving them smelling like the great outdoors.  A benefit in my mind.

I close with a comment Jerry Seinfeld once said: “Now they show you detergents that take out bloodstains, a pretty violent image there.  I think if you’ve got a T-shirt with bloodstains all over it, maybe laundry isn’t your biggest problem.  Maybe you should get rid of the body before you do the wash.”  Here, in Mexico, the bloodstains would blend in perfectly with the rest of the laundry – no need to dispose of the body!  Viva Mexico!

Amigo with water.

Amigo with water.

Water Caddy

Water Caddy

Notice how the hummingbird's wings take on the color of the lily.

Notice how the hummingbird's wings take on the color of the lily.

You can see the beautiful lily pedals through the hummingbird’s gauze-like wings.

You can see the beautiful lily pedals through the hummingbird’s gauze-like wings.

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in photographs.

9 Responses  
  • Les writes:
    July 8th, 20103:09 pmat

    Hi Bob,

    We do sterilize our counters constantly. It is a great idea and has helped to keep us healthy so far.

    The water we buy is processed at a filtration “plant” just up the carretera from us and we’ve had very good luck so far. You are so right, asking questions are the best way to find out what you need to know here in Mexico.

    Thanks for your comments.


  • Bob in exile writes:
    July 8th, 20102:52 pmat

    We have blue bottles in Tlaxcala, but it depends on the brand. If the water company is in your town I suggest you pay them a visit & check out their procedures. Here they run the water through a chlorine solution, then a filter & lastly through a charcoal filter. Salubridad (The Health Department checks them at least twice a year and they have to post a chemical analysis result on their wall where it can be read by the public).
    For cleaning counter tops I suggest hydrogen peroxide,

  • Les writes:
    June 30th, 20107:31 pmat

    Hi Lauerl,

    Thanks for your interesting and helpful comments. I love the Hints from Heloise from South of the Border! I detect a theme coming on!

  • Laurel Williams writes:
    June 30th, 20107:10 pmat

    “Water,water everywhere and all the boards did shrink”…, well you know the rest.
    I wonder if some of the brown spots in your clothing andwasherdrum might be caused by minerals in the water. You might try some water softener. I’m curious to see what would happen.
    I sometimes add rubbing alcohol to my dish water, especially during flu season and use to wash off counters and other surfaces. alcohol stinks too but it dissipates faster than bleach, plus it doesn’t change the color of things. Alcohol is good for cleaning out the insides of smelly tennis shoes and applying it to small spots on the sheets when you didn’t quite make it to the “porcelin princess”, lol This is when Montezuma is dancing in your stomach. This does the job until you feel well enough to change the sheets.

    Well Les I think you have started something, an “Heloise column for South of the Border.” What a talented writer you really are.

  • Les writes:
    June 29th, 20103:01 pmat

    Hi Steve, Terry, Betty and Maria,

    The water bottles are peach in color. Until Steve mentioned the water looked brown I hadn’t even noticed it. I have an explanation; my powers of observation are lower then a duck’s butt. Hence, my dear friends the pictures that ACTUALLY do make the bottled water look brown. Thank goodness David’s the photographer in the family.

    The people who bring the bottled water assure us it is fresh and I have made the choice to believe them whole heartedly.

    Maria made a great comment about inadvertently being eco-friendly by not using power to dry my clothes. Thank you. We are most fortunate to have the water we do have when so many are without. And to my eco-friendly friends – I may be a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic but I do get things right once in a hoot. A little frightening but fits so well with my odd personality.

    Terry and Lu, is it Peru or Ajijic! Inquiring minds want to know! Love and miss you guys too!

    And Betty thanks for seeing only the “good” in my writing. Actually, sometimes it is hard for me to get my thoughts in a pattern even I can understand. It’s sort of like trying to herd cats!

    David’s hummingbird pictures continue to amaze me and we are glad everyone is enjoying them.


  • Betty writes:
    June 29th, 201010:26 amat

    Hi Les!
    Thanks for another great article. You have such a wonderful way of tell us how bad or irritating or screwed up something is and make us laugh about it. It doesn’t sound so bad after all. Keep up the good work. Also love the beautiful pictures.

  • María D'Oporto writes:
    June 28th, 20109:42 pmat

    LOL, well I love all your posts and I have to agreed about some of the statments, well we always had have a dryer maschine but when weather is nice we don’t use it trying to be ecofriendly reducing the use of domestic energy, so the hanging clothes have double benefits, the nice outdoor smell and the reduce energy waste, I also made a reflexion about water and is a reality many of us take the water for granteed and this, unfortunatly, is not longer true, and never been liket hat for many people in this earth, so we are blessed to have water, no matter it looks a lil bit suspicious, hehehehe; well hope you have a wonderful day, byee for now

  • Terry writes:
    June 28th, 20108:14 pmat

    Awesome Pictures Judy. I love the hummingbird pictures. Thanks for sharing.
    Love ya and Miss you.

  • Stephen Millner writes:
    June 28th, 20107:51 pmat

    Hey Les — that bottled water looks a little brown, too.

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