Agua Con Gas, Por Favor

6 Oct

seltzer by sixeight.

Photo by sixeight

Ever since I can remember my parents have been obsessed drinkers of gas water. Seltzer as they call it. Maybe it’s something traditional from growing up in Brooklyn, but my brother and sister and I never picked up the habit. If anything, we found the stuff repulsive. I will never understand how my mom can drink warm seltzer on a hot summer day and make the ‘ahhh’ noise after a big sip. It still gives me the creeps.

It was always terrible when I’d go down to the fridge late at night, totally dehydrated, and find nothing but cans of seltzer in there. Either suffer that cold can which pierced through the throat or go for luke warm tap water. Choices. I’ve always been a straight up, water without gas kinda guy, even though I love soda.

But on the second day I was in Buenos Aires I was at a pizza shop and asked for tap water. Much to my chagrin, the waiter brought over a little seltzer spray bottle which was actually pretty pricey. I was a bit ticked off, but didn’t care enough to say anything, and if anything I found it amusing to spray out my water with something you would expect a clown to use. I remember seeing some of those old bottles in my grandparents apartment when I was a child, right before all the seltzer started coming in cans or plastic bottles. In Argentina, they’re quite prevalent.

I started drinking the gas water and realized that I liked it. It wasn’t too bad, and was actually much better than the canned garbage my parents always buy. That stuff has way too much carbonation, but the gas water in Argentina is just right. It’s enough to tickle your throat and announce that it’s not quite water, yet it’s not overbearing. Any time you order a coffee you’re pretty much guaranteed a complimentary small glass of gas water and a cookie, so after frequenting cafes the first month I was here, I got used to it and started to hope for it.

I still love regular old still water, but lately I find myself reaching for a gas water in the fridge, rather than plain. It just makes drinking water more fun. I don’t think I’m quite on the level of my parents, but it does add a kick to the day. I wonder if I can ever go back to regular water and look at it the same way. Today I started on gas water and then switched to regular. It was so bland, so dry, so boring. The next glass was seltzer. Short of a pie in the face, I might look like a clown with all this seltzer, but what can you do? Your taste buds know what they want.

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