Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Water Pavillion

On Monday, I stopped at the IGA market on Nun's Island again, where everything is shiny and glittering. Being human, I am attracted to shiny things. The lighting in the produce department is stunning there and I usually find something good or hard to get at my local market. Monday, it was killer-ripe avocados. Anyway, not only does this market have the whole station thing going on (ie deli, butcher, cakery, fromagerie, etc, each with own staff) but also has something I've never seen before. It's in a circled out corner near the checkout where one might expect the flower department (which is oddly after the checkout). It's the Pavillon d'Eau. The Water Pavillion. (I wish you could hear how sarcastically I'm saying the word "water".) But again, being human, I was enchanted by the bottom-of-the-pool design flooring and the white backlit shelves transforming the whole "pavillion" into one giant soft-white light bulb. Drawn, I was, like a child to a gumball machine. Look at the pretty bottles, check out the funky norwegian names. Ooooooh, preeeety. But then something started niggling at me, down there in my gut, just left of center. A little tug saying, wait, wait, waiiiiit. And then I started to think about the imbalance in the world. How millions of people don't have access to clean water and here I am staring at the most gluttonous example of consumerism. Water as commodity, as status symbol, as money maker. Then I made this little video.



I'm wondering when we'll have to pay for the air we breathe. Or when the real marketing genius will convince us that a tank with oxygen dragged around with us at all times is not only healthy, but fashionable. Imagine! The funky tank designs, the rolling apparati, the back pack versions. Oh and the mask that goes with, they could even be mask masks, and you could be your favorite celebrity for a day. And the possible air varieties, "Ah, yes I'm doing arctic this week, I like it, but it's a little stale, I don't think I'll do this one again. Post desert storm is my favorite." Geez, the accessories alone could be a billion dollar market.

It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside thinking about what our descendants have to look forward to.

19 comments:

t said...

The water that was on sale for $8 really did come in a cool-looking bottle, though.
Was it glass or plastic?

I know what you mean about clean water and gluttony.
One particularly hot summer at our school (which has no A/C except in a few offices), we propped a small wastebasket against the handle of a hallway drinking fountain so it would eventually get cold. The city water is stored in a huge holding tank in the building, it gets stale and tastes really crappy if it's not used regularly.
Soon afterwards, an Asian family came in to check out our school. They had just moved into the area. They were pretty shocked how we just let the water run and run. I had no doubt they thought it was a terrible waste. I felt badly and seldom ever did it again. We have a water cooler now in our lounge, so we don't do it at all anymore.

Snooze said...

And all the bottles are contributing to the landfill. That's why I've gone back to tap water. Still, what a pretty water pavillion...

St. Dickeybird said...

I don't mind tap-water. After all the crap I've put into myself for 32 years, whatever's in the pipes can't do more damage.

Unless I move to Walkerton...

toobusyliving said...

Although I'm strangely attracted to the words "water pavillion," I know excess when I see it damnit! I'm a tap water guy - although when I am out there is one water that I "prefer" over the others :( At least it's relatively cheap, and doesn't come in a bottle that looks a bit like Montblanc.

Patricia said...

pretty, yes. but you're so right. it was almost sickening to look at the video and know how many people die because of a lack of fresh water. we take so much for granted.

there are "oxygen bars" popping up here and they make me ill, too. could we be any more absurdly wasteful?

i think the best thing to do is to make some killer guacamole, sit out on the new patio furniture, and enjoy the sunshine. i did that last week when i found perfect avocados for 33 cents. life is good.

Jason said...

I have to admit, it was a pretty "pavillion." I'll stick with good 'ol tap water. Brita is ok too.

Knottyboy said...

What
*inhales deeply*
You don't
*inhales deeply*
have one of these
*inhales deeply*
things already?
*inhales deeply*
Mmmmmmmm Per-e-aire

Kalvin said...

Rats, someone beat me to the oxygen bar comment.

I'm not amused either. Where the hell was the Gerolsteiner and the Hildon? I watched it several times and couldn't see them. My poor babies...I also love how there is this creepy machine sound in the background.

Honestly, I don't drink tons of bottled water, but I love Gerolsteiner on occasion. Hildon is really nice with its small bubbles, I like to put it out with desserts. Oh god, I'm such a consumer, just shoot me now!

GayProf said...

I am not the first to point this out, but Evian is naïve spelled backwards. I am not saying, I am just saying.

mainja said...

water water everywhere...

Butchieboy said...

I like the aerosol Evian- for spritzing.

Chunks said...

I have a water cooler, but I refill the bottles all the time. (Our tap water tastes like shit in the spring) Plus, I am a keen recycler. Your video reminded me off all the little African kids you see on the World Vision programs with flies swarming around their little heads, dried meal stuck on their parched lips. Sad really, what we have done to this world.

Perplexio said...

Didn't Woody Harrelson try to open an oxygen bar in LA? IIRC it was a total flop.

As for bottled water, I'm not a fan of the tap water here in suburban Chicago, but that's what those Brita pitchers are for. The filters may not be cheap but when you calculate the cost of filter replacement versus bottled water, it still works out to being considerably cheaper.

Perplexio said...

Didn't Woody Harrelson try to open an oxygen bar in LA? IIRC it was a total flop.

As for bottled water, I'm not a fan of the tap water here in suburban Chicago, but that's what those Brita pitchers are for. The filters may not be cheap but when you calculate the cost of filter replacement versus bottled water, it still works out to being considerably cheaper.

Painter Beach Girl said...

Yeah, I have been researching camping in New England and discovered that they now have coin operated showers at campgrounds! Go figure. We pay for bottled water. We pay for the water into our house, the water (and sewer leaving our house). Air is next.

S. said...

Wow...how preeetttty. That was something. I have never gotten on the bottled water bandwagon. I drink tap even though where we live it is full of limestone deposit. Have you not heard that Bedford, IN is the LIMESTONE CAPITAL of the WORLD? It is true. We have to replace things like water heaters and coffee pots quite offten due to pipes getting clogged with Limestone buildup...imagine what that is doing to our bodies. I will just drink my Diet Dews!

talksmart said...

All those will come, when everything is for sale...for sure...in another lifetime perhaps.

D e s i g n Girl said...

Unbelievable!! From a distance it looked like a nice liquor store's Vodka aisle. But Water??? Sheesh!

Mark in DC said...

Coming to this same, disgusting conclusion myself, I pictured someone like Michael J Fox in 'Back to the Future' telling people in 1976 that 30 years in the future people would be paying several dollars for a bottle of water - not because water was scarce - but because water had become a status symbol. I picture all those platform shoe wearing girls and bell-bottom pants wearing guys shaking their heads in disbelief. "PAY for WATER? When you could just turn on the faucet?"

For that reason I REFUSE to buy bottled water. Plus, bottled booze is just more fun.

Mark