Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chinese Water

There are certain things in this world, or in my world at least, which make absolutely no sense at all.

For example; I hate water.
Yes I completely and absolutely hate water. Now I am not hydrophobic or anything. I am not afraid of water. Actually I really quite like water for things like swimming and long hot baths and brisk cold showers after a hot day and the other useful things water does like washing clothes and cooking. All of these things I am a big fan of.

No what I really hate about water is having to drink it. This makes no sense. I mean when it comes down to it the human body, much like this ball of rock we live on, is mostly made of water. Under that knowledge I should actually crave water. Then there is also the fact that water has no taste (unless it is site water at faire and then it has a flavor and a texture. Mmm chunky faire water..). This should not be an unappealing substance for me to consume. Yet it is.

It has always been this way. My mother tells me that as an infant I would refuse to drink a bottle of water. She would attempt to give me the bottle and I would push it away. So this is not some weird thing I got into my head as a child. I was born not liking water.

Now as an adult I know the importance of drinking water. It keeps me hydrated, and does good things for my skin, and a list of other healthy things that I am fond of. So as an adult I force myself to drink a significant amount of water. Of course this is because I am a responsible adult. When I was a child it was a little harder.

Actually when I was a child it was impossible to get me to drink water. There was absolutely no amount of logic or reason you could use on me to make me drink the stuff (with the rare exception of drinking straight from the hose on a hot summer day, but that didn't count in my child brain). So considering how important it is to drink water, especially for an incredibly active child, my grandfather took it upon himself to solve the problem.

He lied to me.
Hey what else are you supposed to do with a child when logic does not work (can you actually use logic on a child?)

We were sitting in a Chinese restaurant and I could not have been much more than 5 years old. We lived with my grandparents when I was growing up, and my grandfather was the center of my universe. I loved him more than even my Pound Puppies (and I gave up sucking my thumb for a Pound Puppy). So I would pretty much do anything for him, except of course drink water.

We were sitting in the restaurant and they placed a glass of water in front of me, and I of course made a face and said I did not want that. Instead of trying to convince me to drink the water by asking me nicely or even demanding it, my grandfather just casually told me that it was not normal water. Oh no it was special Chinese Water.

Well this intrigued me. It was something special you say? And of course my grandfather would never lie to me, so if he said it was special it must be. I of course wanted to try it right away. I drank it and it was wonderful. I loved it.

From that moment on any time my mother wanted me to drink water all she had to do was say it was Chinese Water. She told me she had gotten the recipe and she would even go through the motions of "preparing" it, which involved getting a pot dirty and stirring the water, and some other strange things, before she made me a glass of ice water from the tap.

I admit it was an ingenious way to get around the problem.
The funny thing is that I am now programmed to think that water in a Chinese restaurant is somehow better than regular water. It is a psychosomatic sort of response. Even after I figured the trick out, it never changed that thought in my head. I know it is no different than any other water, but somehow logic can not break through the Chinese Water illusion.

So now as an adult, while I will drink ice water because I should and it is good for me, I will always get water at a Chinese restaurant.
And it still always tastes better than any other water in the world.

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