One of the first things that struck me as being unfamil […]
One of the first things that struck me as being unfamiliar — exotic, even — when I first stepped foot on the European continent some years ago as a college student was the drinking water situation.
"Gas or no gas?" "Bubbles or no bubbles?" I'd be asked when sitting down for a meal.
Unlike back home, where the choice between still tap water and sparkling mineral water was a luxury reserved for finer restaurants, the latter seemed to be the defaulteverywherein Europe. And so, as a generally thirsty person who likes his water to be cold, flat and accompanied by lots of ice cubes (a true European rarity) while dining out, hydrating took some getting used to. Even purchasing bottled water proved to be daunting as carbonated varieties dominated store shelves.
In most cities, however, public drinking fountains proved to be a welcome refuge from the fizz. Boring, flat tap water gushed forth from these fountains — just how I like it.
But this isn't how most Europeans like it.
And this is why Paris has announced plans to install water fountains that dispense cold, refreshingsparklingwater in all 20 arrondissements. The goal? To keep bubble-loving residents — folks who might otherwise avoid public drinking fountains due to the lack of carbonation — in all pockets of the city healthily hydrated while also reducing plastic bottle waste.
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