“Ohmygod,” said one American who walked into an aisle of the grocery store. The other, slowly grew wide-eyed: “which one is it?”
“Remember the problem we had the last time?” and they slowly set themselves to the task of testing every single item in that aisle…
Shaking bottles of water to see if it “sparkled.”
So we’re not the only ones shaking bottles, I thought.
It was 120 degrees and sunny the day we drank some sparkling water. We were so thirsty, we had forgotten that there is more than one kind of water in Europe. As I took a sip of water, my face furrowed as I realized I had picked the wrong bottle of water. Well, wrong for us, but delightfully refreshing for others.
Except Americans. A lot of communities’ water sources in the States are chlorinated and it doesn’t have the freshest taste. So, we’re willing to spend money on bottled water or a water filter because it tastes better. And sparkling water just hasn’t caught on in the States. Personally, I don’t find sparkling water refreshing at all. My husband thinks it tastes like “drinking fart” (quoted verbatim).
If I had to venture a guess as to why sparkling water is so popular in Europe, I think it’s because most water that comes out of the tap and public drinking fountains (and our personal favorite, the spring water fountain on Knez Mihailova Street in Belgrade) is normal, tasty water. So, if someone is going to pay for water, they get their money’s worth with the sparkle. Still, other Europeans think sparkling water is “awesome and it tastes good” (also quoted verbatim).That word means your water will sparkle.
But, until the trend of sparkling water takes hold in the States (hopefully never), here’s a handy Guide to Buying Non Carbonated Water in Eastern Europe that you may find useful. All the words were found through trial-and-error and a little bit of Google Translate with every purchase. Feel free to provide your own suggestions in the comment section.
ohne kohlensäure (without carbonation)
szénsavmentes (not carbonated)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
prirdona iz vorska voda (natural still water; look for the blue label)
As my husband and I wallowed in the heat of that 120 degree day, I looked over at what was now two bottles of sparkling water. Like a good husband, Frank marched back into that grocery store to find me some still water. The “Shake the Bottle” test had failed and two giant bottles of carbonated water were staring back at me. Twisting open the cap, I took what was to be a long journey of sips. I wasn’t about to toss it, though: we spent a lot of money to sparkle, so we’re going to drink it.
Have any suggestions for buying still water? Let us know!
Like the Guide to Buying Non Carbonated Water? You can get more awesomely “useful” and sparkling guides via email. Join us on our adventures! Go Nuts!