Yesterday was the first day I’ve spent in confinement since coming back to Mexico four months ago. I enjoyed it, but I also see it will get old quickly. Some petty challenges have already reared their head: I ran out of drinking water and had to boil some for drinking, at least until the truck comes to deliver the 20L jugs we call garrafones.

The reader may be appalled at my lack of foresight, but Mexico’s untreated tap water is not noxious, yet it is taboo to drink it. The taboo comes, I suspect, from former times in which sanitary conditions were worse than now.

These days, tap water often is mineral-laden and not the best choice for everyday consumption (it would cause kidney stones), but the upside is that this kind of water comes from deep aquifers and not superficial sources. It may become contaminated in the transportation from the well to the household (often due to leakage sewage infrastructure) so it would be sensible to test your water, but drinking a glass out of a random house would be above 99% safe.

Yet, since we are so stringent with the quality of the water we drink, we neglect the water storage tanks in our households. It’s fine if the tank has a bit of dirt and gunk if you’re using it for showers, dishes, toilets and so on, as long as the deposits are not stirred.

Months ago, when I arrived to this house I took a peek inside the water tank on the rooftop, and it was evident my tap water was not drinkable. It is almost certain that people are pilling up on water and the reason why the truck didn’t show up yesterday at my cul-de-sac street was because it sold out early.

The next delivery is in four days. I have three options:

  1. Break my quarantine, go buy water.
  2. Boil water for drinking.
  3. Clean my infrastructure and drink tap water.

The habitual reader of the log knows that #1 is not an option, not because of quarantine commitments, but because I do not carry water as a sort of… both a game and spiritual commitment. Thirst is a great motivator, so allow us to stop doing #2 in order to make #3 effortless.