22 January 2011

Water We To Do?

We seem to remember reading somewhere, at some point, that we shouldn't drink the tap water here. The hotel receptionist in Polotsk said that it was safe "but had a sour taste" and that we were better off drinking bottles. So, off we went to the store to stock up. The entire water section was filled with flavored ones and gaseous varieties.
Finally, off in a corner we found "негазированная" (still) water that didn't appear to be lemon, strawberry or otherwise fruit flavored. The label read "Medical and Table Water." Elated, we bought as many as our arms could carry. Thirsty, we opened one up as soon as we were on the sidewalk and took a swig. To say it was disgusting is an understatement. Ever notice that the water that comes out of that tiny faucet attached to the chair at a dentist's office tastes sort of awful? Well, take that and add salt and you've got this. We both tried to get as much down as we could, but managed less than a cup each.

We've tried a number of different Belarusian bottled water. Some have been okay, others have had a salty taste to them. One night, we accidentally purchased the Medical and Table water again. The Russian language side of the label was facing outward and we just didn't put two and two together. It was fairly tragic.
Needless to say, water has been something constantly on our minds. So, when we pulled into the little town of Logoisk and saw hoards of townfolk walking toward the church with empty water bottles and walking from it with full ones, we had to investigate. In back of the church was a well and a long queue of people waiting to fill up. We're not sure if this is an every day thing or not, but I couldn't blame them for waiting as long as it took to get some fresh, ice cold, unflavored, noncarbonated, non table or medical well water.

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