Friday, November 17, 2006

third world class

Welcome to Vancouver! Home of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games (well, unless the snow doesn't show up in sufficient quantities).

Vancouver is a world class city! It fits in comfortably with Mexico City (though we don't have the weather that they have, and they had the Olympics 38 long years ago), Tegucigalpa (though their water is more potable), and Addis Ababa (though their mountains are not as spectacularly snow-peaked), and Los Angeles (though they only had the piddlin' Summer Olympics, and their cops are tougher).

Yesterday there were 2 million people in the Lower Mainland who were warned to boil their water. Today, that number was halved to merely 1 million people. One million pregnant women, children, elderly, and the heavily mortgaged. The news spread far and wide very quickly. Last night I had three calls from other parts of Canada - concerned for our well-being. I also had an e-mail from the US with the same concerns. I didn't even know of the advisory before receiving these calls.

Hotels in Vancouver were quick to spread the advisory to all hotel rooms, and offered bottled water to their guests. Coffee shops and restaurants were hit where it hurts as they had to refuse their clients anything involving tap water. There were a lot of cranky, caffeine-deficient people in Vancouver the last couple of days.

I can just imagine visitors filling up their bathtubs with the murk that is on tap, and thinking that they might be better off to smell bad for their flights out of town. And what if any of them become sick with Giardia (classically known as Beaver Fever. How very Canadian...), Cryptosporidium, or such. And what if they sent their nice white shirts to the hotel laundry, and they came back looking as if someone had pissed all over them?

I was not personally affected - we have been drinking spring water for years, and have a good supply of 18 litre bottles stocked (because of the chlorine, we avoid tap water for drinking. At least there is no fluoride added.). I have also had amoebic dysentery, and Giardia, and have a pretty tough intestinal tract, but I had those infections in the Third World - where it can be expected. But Vancouver? That's some bad press man.

Third World Class. The city where people live on the streets. Where you can't even brush your flipping teeth unless you use bottled water (good luck finding any). The city where the middle class can't afford to buy the crappiest house.

Are we over ourselves yet?

VHB and The Pope already posted on this, but I am behind the curve. I have been as busy as, well, a beaver. A beaver crapping in the reservoirs.


Anonymous said...

"Water, water everywhere
and not a drop to drink."

solipsist said...

Too much, too little. Rather like the RE market, no?

Thanks for posting antz.

Anonymous said...

At other msg boards, some expected water trucks to deliver clean water to their doorsteps. :D hilarious..that complaints spilled over to ...
There’s a reference to today’s news in ethnic papers - October 2006 inventory in Vancouver is up 19% and sales drop 17% compared to Oct 2005; Calgary’s yoy inventory increases 5-fold and sales drop 18%. And that sparks of lots of debates.
Good nite and thanks for an entertaining evening.

Andrew said...

Again, what's with this "OMG WE HAVE TO DRINK BOTTLED WATER" nonsense? Just boil it, people! It may not look nice or taste nice, but it's drinkable and you can brush your teeth with it just fine.

Van Housing Blogger said...

Umm, call me crazy, but I kind of like my water to taste nice. I'm sure if I pee - just a little - in Andrew's beer he will neither taste it nor die from it. But I suspect he might prefer the non-pee beer, and may even whine a bit if forced to drink the pee-containing beer.

But maybe I'm just spoiled. I'm sure there are good bits on the moldy cheese I just threw away too, but you know, I kinda get pleasure out of eating non-dirty food and non-dirty drink.

Van Housing Blogger said...

That all said, I agree with Andrew that brown but still healthy water is not a national disaster. But I'm not going to take flak for preferring the bottled stuff to the brown stuff, when there is a choice.

the pope said...

I have been as busy as, well, a beaver. A beaver crapping in the reservoirs.

So! It was YOU!

..and as far as VHB's comment goes, uh, yeah, I'll have the pee-free beer, thanks. Guess I'm just spoiled from livin' in this worldcl-ass city.

solipsist said...

Thanks for posting, and keeping me laughing folks.

VHB, I thought that my beer was a little warm and insipid the last time you dropped by. I promise not to serve the Roquefort cheese when next you come by.

Pope, don't tell anyone that I crapped up at the Cleveland Dam. I'm trying to sabotage the Olympics any way I can.

We drink spring water all the time because I have an over-active immune system that attacks me from time to time, so I try to keep chemicals (such as chlorine) to a minimum. But there is nothing wrong with the water here for the average person - even today. It's all hype, and people fall for it. I know someone who was so concerned that she was boiling her dog's water. The same dog that drinks out of puddles and toilets.

But why not drink clear water if you can get it?