Europe's Assault on h2o

Two stories about Europe’s assault on h2o. (In case you’re not following my Travel Blog, finding water is becoming the Big Challenge of my trip.)

First. In Cologne I went to a gym to work out. After inspecting the facility I decided to pay the 15 euros day pass since there was an abundance of both cardio and weights. After paying and choosing my stationary bike, I felt that thirst come on and darted my eyes around in search of a water fountain. I saw nothing. I politely asked the person working reception: “Excuse me, where are your water fountains?” She responds: “Oh I’m sorry, we don’t have any. If you would like, you can rent this water bottle for 1 euro and then I can fill it up for you behind the desk as many times as you want.” To repeat: The exercise gym — where people SWEAT and EXERT — did not provide free water to its patrons. Moreover, if you wanted to fill up your bottle, you had to ask the attendant who filled it up from the bar, right next to all the various German beers. Please, please, please: do not tell me the Germans drink beer while working out?!

Second. Unable to find any free water fountain I ask the lady working the front desk of the hotel if she could fill up my bottle. She gave a thoroughly confused look as if to say, “Water bottles? Who drinks water from a bottle?” She then walked with me to the kitchen / restaurant of the hotel and handed me a big glass bottle of “still water.” Hmm, I was hoping for a sink to fill up my bottle. But it was the size of a wine bottle, so I was happy. Then the lady asked for my room number. Oh no, she’s not going to charge me is she? I debated whether to give her my room number and have her levy the charge on the next occupant, since we had already checked out. Alas, my moral compass didn’t let me. So I said, “Pay? Can I pay in cash?” She took me over to the front desk. No one was understanding each other. Before I could comprehend what was going on — I just wanted to fill my bottle up — I had paid the lady 3 euros. She then asked if I wanted a cup to drink it out of. I said no, and promptly twisted over the top, and started drinking from the glass bottle itself (think of drinking wine straight out of the bottle). I think they gave a horrified look but I didn’t a shit: I was thirsty. I needed my water.

Does anyone want to join me and stop this assault on h2o in Europe? Can somebody help explain this madness?

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