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.