Water Shortage

Water Shortage

By Kathy Koches

water bottle

 

I just returned from a trip north of the border. Not to California, where I was born, but to Washington State in the Pacific Northwest. It is lush and green because it does rain there – a lot.  But this is the story of a different kind of water shortage.

The day after I arrived, my daughter, Wendy, and I went to the mall to have a coffee and spend some time, just the two of us. On the short drive I realized I was extremely thirsty, probably due to dehydration brought on by traveling. 

As we entered the mall I spotted two large vending machines, just inside the door. “Oh,  great!” I thought, “I’ll just get a bottle of cold water.”  The first machine contained various types of sodas, but the second one had both juice and bottled water. “How much does a bottle of water cost these days?” I asked my daughter, as I had not been in the US for over a year.  “Let me look” she replied.  “It is $1.50.” “What??? For one small bottle of water?” I was appalled.  “Uh, Mom, does that sound like a lot?” she asked. “Well, where I live in Mexico, it would be about eight pesos, which is about fifty cents!” “Welcome to the US Mom!” Wendy laughed.

I dug around in my coin purse and managed to find six US quarters, left over from my last trip. “Ah, success!” I thought, as I looked at the vending machine. I stared and searched, but the coin slot was nowhere to be found.  Feeling rather foolish, I asked Wendy, “Where do I put the coins?”

After laughing for about three minutes, Wendy told me, “Mom, it only takes debit cards!” Say what? Now I do have a debit card, but did not have it with me. Who would have thought you would need it at the mall? I did have a credit card with me, but was not about to put $1.50 bottle of water on it!  Apparently, everyone uses debit cards for EVERYTHING and no one uses cash anymore! It was at that point I decided I was not really all that thirsty and didn’t need a bottle of water that much.  But I think there must be a water shortage that I never knew about in the Pacific NW!

 

Ojo Del Lago
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