By Kathy Koches
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!
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com