Thursday, August 14, 2008

You’re Welcome: What kind of water do you drink?

I know that when people come to another country, often the first question they ask is, “Can I drink the water?”  I remember asking the question when I first got here.  One reader posed it to me in a comment on my post about Icis water.

helloefrebody wrote:

Lotte Icis water is actually fine...what do you usually drink, you pompous American twat?!

Wow.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been called a twat before.  I don’t really know what that is, but thank you I guess.

You have a good question.  Actually, the only brand of water that I’ve tried in Korea that I didn’t like is Lotte Icis.  The first ten or so times I had it it had a bit of a dirty taste to it—its hard to describe.

My favorite Korean brand is “Sam Da Soo.”  Its in one of those squared bottle and comes from Jeju.  As I noted in my first post, either my tastes have adjusted, or Icis’s taste has changed.  I actually bought a second bottle of Icis this week.  I wouldn’t say that I prefer it, but its really not so bad anymore.

And as for the question of tap water safety, the water is safe to drink, at least in Geoje.  The water here is treated, fluorinated, and okay for human consumption.  However, most Koreans still opt to buy bottled water, or they boil the water into tea.

helloefrebody also wrote:

A few mutual friends were at dinner with you recently and mentioned that they had never been to dinner with a foreigner that was as arrogant and rude to the Koreans who owned the place as you!


I think you’re mistaken.  First, you’ve obviously confused the people you’ve talked to as friends of mine.  I’m generally not rude, and friends of mine would have called me out if I was being rude.  Also, they wouldn’t have talked about me behind my back.  I try to be nice to wait staff to keep them from spitting my my food.

I generally think that I have a good relationship with the people who run the restaurants.  Why, just yesterday, a friend and I were greeted by name and open arms at my favorite 닭갈비 dakgalbi (chicken ribs) restaurant.

Second, I think you might have me confused with someone else.  I don’t think I’ve ever been called arrogant before.  I’d consider myself to be the humblest person I know.

So, now that we’ve got the cleared up, keep the questions coming!

You’re welcome.

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