Saturday, May 4, 2013

Basic Human Need

We are lucky that in this country, drinkable water is just a tap away. Granted, half of the time it is recycled waste water (oh, remember the jokes made by a politician across the causeway?) but the bottom line is, Singaporeans have drinkable clean water running through their taps 24/7.

And boy do we take it for granted.

We are so used to having access to drinkable water at the snap of our fingers that we don't accustom ourselves to situations when the access of clean drinking water is compromised. Like yesterday.

After getting my haircut at the salon that Melanie works at, I waited for her to finish her shift before going for dinner together. We shall not disclose the name of the restaurant as it is the very spine of my rant today.

So we were at this restaurant, famished and were seated down; our orders promptly taken. After ordering, Melanie politely asked, "May I have a glass of iced water?"

"Sorry ma'am, we don't serve iced water," the young waitress replied.

"Oh that's fine, normal tap water would do," Melanie smiled, not sensing anything fishy.

"Sorry ma'am we cannot serve free iced or tap water. if you want plain water, you can order a small bottle of Evian for $4.90," the waitress (Anne on her nametag) sweetly smiled.

There was five seconds of sheer, incomprehensible silent of tension.

I massaged my temples because I know what is going to happen next. Anything but good.

"Are you saying that I have to pay five bucks to drink a glass of plain water?" Melanie asked softly.

"Yes, I'm so sorry ma'am," Anne replied, her face looking slightly terrified all of a sudden.

"That's fine then," Melanie said. And off the waitress went.

"You look tense, here have a glass of water. Oh wait, there isn't any," I laughed.

"Is it just me or do you find this whole water ban ridiculous?" Melanie seethed.

"It is. Or maybe they are just trying to save cost?" I reasoned.

"Get me a big bottle of Evian from 7-11 downstairs. It costs much lesser than a pathetic 250ml of bottled Evian here," Melanie pleaded.

"Are you serious?" I asked.

"I have been cutting hair all day long. I practically have a hairball in my throat right now, please," she whispered urgently.

And so I went to the 7-11 two storeys down. 5 minutes later, I carried the 7-11 plastic bag into the restaurant, big bottled of chilled Evian water inside.

Melanie quickly grabbed the bottle away from my hand and started guzzling down the chilled water.

Suddenly, without warning Anne came to our table and urgently said to Melanie, "Sorry, no outside food and drinks allowed!"

Oh. Fucking. Yes.


We had our dinner elsewhere. I am not going to bail out a tranny from a police station. Not ready for it just yet.

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