Water is good.
In Taiwan, access to drinkable water is an issue. Rumor has it that public water passes all tests as it leaves filtering stations, but due to old/cheap piping in certain districts and buildings, it does not reach your tap 100% clean.
Now, we’re not talking Mexico water here, but most people do prefer to have an outside source. So what are the options?
1. Bottle-by-bottle. (SIDE NOTE: I’m reminded of my old college roommate and his parents. I stayed with the family for a few weeks, great people. One of their quirks that always stuck with me is that they watered their lawn during a drought and when water was supposed to be turned off to save forests burning a couple hundered miles south, and that they bought three cases of 20oz. bottled water every week. They even had a separate recycling bin just for all their water bottles.) So, yes, this is an option. Small bottles go for 12-15nt at 7-11 (about $.50USD), and the larger 2L for 35nt.
2. 5-gallon home fountain. (Is that what they call this?) You know, the huge jug. You buy a little stand for it. Some even can plug in and keep the water cool or hot. I wanted to go this route when I moved in here, but the company that served my building would only do it if I drank one of those monster jugs a week and stored 6 of them in my house per delivery. No go.
3. Boiling water. Seems a little eco-unfriendly.
4. The “add-water-station.” And boom goes the dynamite! I’d never even seen one of these spots in Taipei. Sure enough, down in Tainan they are everywhere. It’s a shop front, with a huge plexiglass window protecting this massive filtration system. I suppose the idea is so that you can see your water being filtered. In front, each shop has three friendly-robot-looking pumps. Pop in 10nt and I can basically fill a 5L jug. I can fit two 5L jugs on my scoot, and fill both jugs for 30nt. Glorious!
Put this one on the Taiwan-Pros list.
My real question, though, is would this fly in the US? Would people actually bring a huge water bottle and refill at a gas-looking pump? Now granted, I should have taken a better picture to show these friendly robot heads on the top of the water pumps here, but I am not sure it is enough to sell Joe America.
Would my old college roommates family hit this spot up? What if it was run by Poland Springs?
The only people I know who fill up water bottles at a spring are my grandparents at their lake house. Now, granted, that may be one of the most delicious springs of water in the continental US, but still… would this fly in the US?