Sunday, February 19, 2012

Warm Drinking Water

I've noticed many of the people here (probably most) don't like cold drinking water. For example, if the store clerk pulls a water out of the cooler, he or she will roll the bottle between their hands to warm it up before handing it to the shopper. Then, the shopper does the same thing for a good few minutes. When the heat was off at our school and the water was REALLY cold, (and yummy, I might add) teachers would call down to the canteen, order a large tea glass full of boiling water, empty about 1/3 of the icy cold bottled water into the trash can, and pour an equal amount of boiling water into the bottle to warm it up.

I didn't think much of the quirk of warming the water until a conversation with one of my Turkish friends revealed that the people in Malatya are taught (and believe) from a young age that "cold water makes you sick." They also generally don't eat ice cream in the winter for the same reason. So on Saturday, when her son wanted an ice cream cone, she made him drink a sip of warm water after every bite of ice cream. However, she mentioned that her brother married someone who does not share the same concern about cold things and his kids drink water directly from a cold pitcher from the refrigerator and don't get sick. But that's because, she says, "their bodies were trained from a young age to accept cold water. My kids would get sick." Did I mention she is a doctor?

What made me decide to write about warm water was that sometime over the last five months, I've quit putting my water pitcher in the refrigerator. I wasn't even aware that I left my water on the counter until my American dinner quests, while helping me clean up the meal, headed straight to the 'frig and put the pitcher inside. Then my mind flashed to the rolling of bottles, adding of boiling water, and fear of getting sick. Come to think of it, I've never made an ice cube and now I drink warm water...In truth, I'm just being lazy.

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