Coleridge may have had it correct. There is water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.
At least, that is the impression I left with my multiple essays on water at my house. You heard about well water. Water filters. A missing water tank. And a fussy solar water heater.
But nowhere did I mention my most important water. The stuff I use for drinking and for cooking.
It does not come piped in from the city or sucked up from my well. Like almost all of my neighbors, my drinking water either arrives by truck -- or I pick it up at the store.
The Mexican government claims that over 80% of the water in Mexico is potable, and that most people are wasting money by buying bottled water. I am willing to bet that the government spokesman who said that has a water dispenser at home (and behind his desk) not dissimilar to the one in my kitchen.
That is it posing at the top of this essay. At the moment, it appears to be queuing up for open auditions for The Wizard of Oz.
I live in a hot climate. When I am around the place full time, I usually empty one or two of these five-gallon (approximately) garrafons in a week.
One thing that has changed is the price of bottled water. When I arrived (almost exactly six years ago), a bottle off the truck was 10 pesos. Within a couple of months, it had climbed to 12 pesos.
I now buy my water at one of the local convenience markets (only because I never seem to be at the house when the water truck drives by). Today's price was 23 pesos (about $1.50 (US)). Not bad. But it has been a steady increase in price.
My neighbors often mention how food prices have climbed over the past few years. Other than the water, I must confess I have not really noticed. But I hear northern tourists making the same comments.
And the politicians are talking up that point in this year's elections here. It seems to be only secondary to universal calls for the elimination of corruption -- something every Mexican politician promises, but is rather lax in implementing.
Well, I cannot vote. And there is little I can do about water prices -- other than pay the ante.
Overall, I think I prefer paying what I do here for food than paying what my family in Bend pays. But that will soon be changing for them.
Note -- If all has gone well, I will be on my way to Dallas by the time you read this. Thanks to all of you have have wished me a good trip.