tiistai 10. marraskuuta 2009

Pure water

There are few as important things in the world as pure water. I really, really have learned to appreciate it here, where the tap water smells like... And never mind the smell, I have heard from several sources it contains traces of heavy metal. Thus, in my books, it is totally and completely non-drinkable.
I know the locals drink it. They either boil it, or use some sort of purifying filters. I don't know one single laowai who drinks tap water around here. (Well, except those whose kids made them coffee every weekend from the tap water, untill the parents noted what was happening.) But this all means you have to order 5 or 10 liter bottles of water, and make sure you don't run out water. I am not complaining: I don't have to carry the water from a dwell 20 kilometers away, so all is well. Someone will carry it for me. Not from a well, but from a supermarket, or from the house management office. But then there is always the small question mark, whether it is really pure water, or is someone making "fake" bottled water from the tap water... But let's not get in to that.

Our house management decided to make our life easier, though. They recently installed a box like this to every apartment:

"Safe Clean Fresh Water"
Now, I don't know exactly how a machine like that works, but I know it uses infrared to purify the water. Great. I just don't believe infrared does anything to the heavy metal traces. I am not sure, I haven't looked it up, but it just doesn't sound plausible. I am an auditor. I need to doubt things. (I also should investigate and verify things before making accusisations, but this is my free-time, so I can do whatever I want. I can doubt "Pentair" all I want, and never bother to check if I'm right or not. It is not nice to notice you are wrong, and if you don't check, you will never know. And all is well.)
But even it would work, there are some other issues with the machine. I have already too little cupboard space in the kitchen. The kitchen has been designed by someone who does not cook. Someone who doesn't understand I would like to keep the tabletops empty. The kitchen itself is roomy, but there is very little place to keep dishes and things. And now this box is steeling one more whole cupboard from me.
Secondly: it only can store 250 ml of water. Convenient, dontcha think? It takes about 25 minutes to purify that amount. So if I want to, say, cook some pasta and need 750 ml of water, it'll take me a whole hour to get that. Assuming I have not used the water for anything else just before I start cooking.
Thirdly, unfortunately the infrared system heats the water to be about +35 celcius warm. Which is sligthly less than body temperature. Now, I am all for drinking room temperature water (An average Chinese does not drink cold drinks in the autumn, winter or spring. Ladies should never drink cold drinks, just so you know. Not good for the stomach.) But +35? It is not warm enough to use for tea, but it is way too warm to drink. Waaay too warm. Try it if you don't believe me.
So, could someone please tell me why was that machine ever created? And why was it brought to my kitchen?

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