Mexican Living Survival Tip 1 Water

Mexican Living Survival Tip 1 Water

A typical day in​ the​ life of​ an​ American expat living in​ Mexico will include trying to​ find drinking water. You might be surprised by this but everyone knows that you cannot “drink the​ water in​ Mexico”. This refers to​ the​ fact that you cannot drink the​ tap water in​ Mexico. Probably every American adult already knows that you cannot drink the​ tap water. But does the​ typical American adult know just how one obtains drinking water in​ Mexico?

In a​ word: bottles!

The day in​ and​ day out routine in​ Mexico to​ obtain the​ liquid of​ life, that which is​ absolutely essential for​ survival, is​ that you must have bottled water. to​ meet this need, two companies where I live, Guanajuato, have sprung into being. to​ say that they are in​ competition with one another for​ customers, competition as​ Americans would define competition, would be a​ misnomer. That is​ to​ say, I think so.

The way this works is​ that the​ drinking-water employees walk through the​ streets of​ Guanajuato screaming all the​ livelong day, “Agua…agua…agua”. They punctuate the​ end of​ their musical-like screeching with the​ name of​ their company so you, the​ customer, will know whether you should run naked from the​ shower, sopping wet, to​ the​ nearest window to​ scream back, “A-G-U-A!”

So, picture this, if​ you will:

You are in​ the​ shower. You have just covered your body with a​ thick, foamy layer of​ soap. You are so white you look like a​ polar bear walking on its hind legs. in​ addition, you look like a​ polar bear walking on its hind legs that is​ also blind. This is​ because you have just lathered your hair with shampoo and​ you cannot see for​ fear of​ the​ searing, burning pain that will certainly ensue should you open your eyes even for​ God.

You are down to​ your last three ounces of​ bottled water and​ are in​ the​ shower when you hear the​ plaintiff screech coming from the​ alley,

“Agua…agua…agua Purificada!!” (Purficada is​ the​ name of​ one of​ the​ two companies.)

You go tearing out of​ the​ shower looking very frightening. You do this because you know that if​ you do not get to​ the​ nearest window and​ begin what sounds like a​ mating call between two torridly-in-love beasts, then you will lose out on getting water.

The result of​ any hesitation on your part will most likely result in​ not getting water—period!

Now let me extrapolate on this, with your permission.

The bottled-water guys never come two days in​ a​ row. the​ Apocalypse could be in​ mid-Apocalyptic frenzy and​ these guys will never, for​ love or​ money, come two days in​ a​ row to​ give you water during the​ Mother of​ all Wars. What I am saying is​ that they could come on a​ Monday, and​ if​ you do not load up on bottles of​ water then, you could be looking forward to​ dehydration as​ the​ mode of​ your imminent death.

Not only that, they may not even return to​ your neighborhood for​ weeks on end. for​ reasons known only to​ the​ employees of​ these two water companies, they simply do not engage in​ any sort of​ regular or​ predictable route. No one in​ this country, from “sea to​ shining sea” (from the​ Gulf of​ Mexico to​ the​ Pacific Ocean) knows why!

Here are some suggestions as​ to​ why they do not come—ever—to your house more than two days in​ a​ row.


1. Forget about you completely and​ figure that you moved or​ died.
2. Have some sort of​ passive-aggressive fit, “How dare them not scream back at​ me when I went to​ all this trouble to​ sing the​ agua love song to​ them from the​ alley…I will show them! Grrrr!”
3. Do not keep records mentally or​ on paper when someone last ordered water.
4. Make the​ assumption that you are getting your water some other way.

I do not know.

But, the​ point is, unless you have a​ car, and​ have the​ strength of​ Hercules, you cannot pop down to​ the​ store and​ get some water. These bottles are enormously heavy.

So, the​ next option is: USE the​ TELEPHONE.

At the​ writing of​ these words, I have called five times and​ sent two emails to​ the​ company, “Agua Purficada”. Three and​ a​ half days later, they still haven’t shown up.

With each phone call, I have encountered someone who sounds sympathetic and​ like they actually care about the​ urgency that I feel because my life is​ ebbing away from lack of​ water. They promise that they will send someone who will be at​ my door in​ an​ hour. I am sitting here in​ mid-evening almost four days later with no water.

If you are going to​ live in​ this country, you will have to​ get used to​ this happening all the​ time, in​ all aspects of​ life here. There is​ nothing you can do about it. the​ bottled water company will bring you water when and​ if​ they think you need some water. That is​ the​ only thing I can tell you that makes any sense.

The horrible thing is​ that if​ you were Mexican, this would not happen to​ you. I realize what I am implying here but it​ is​ the​ sad truth. and​ mind you, I can speak the​ language. it​ is​ not a​ language barrier issue. I can communicate clearly, in​ Spanish, that I need water, where I live, and​ can’t you hurry I am dying here!

I immediately called my Mexican friends in​ town. They told me that they get water within minutes of​ making ONE phone call. Count it—ONE! I have made five calls and​ sent emails and​ I have nothing to​ show for​ it. One Mexican friend even asked me to​ repeat to​ her what I said to​ the​ water people. She said that should have done it, but alas, it​ did not.

Doug’s Mexican Living survival tip for​ getting your water is​ this:

Even if​ you are fully supplied with water, and​ hear the​ water guy coming, buy another bottle or​ two. Always have three full bottles in​ reserve! Always!

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