As everyone in Vietnam knows, you can’t drink water out of the tap. There is no treatment system kill all the bacteria in city water systems. As far as I know, the city systems just make the water clear, not clean. And I’ve been to a few high class hotels in the country, and even at these four and five star properties, they don’t treat the water to make it safe to drink.
So how can you drink water here? Well, there are two options: You can call up a water delivery service and they’ll bring you a 21 liter jug; when you’re finished with that, you call them for another one and the cycle continues. The other option is simply to boil your water. This option is embraced by Tyler and by my in-laws, but I’d never bought into it.
Then recently I moved up to the 9th floor of an apartment building. There’s an elevator of course, but the thought of getting the water delivered, lugging it into the elevator, waiting, lugging it over to the apartment, etc. was unnerving and sounded very time consuming. Then Ngân suggested that we nấu nước. It literally means “cook water,” but it describes the process quite nicely. In the same way that you cook meat so that it’s safe to eat, you also cook water to make it safe to drink.
So since we’ve moved in I’ve been boiling, or cooking water, like a fiend. I was using cooking pots, but then went out and purchased a large kettle with a whistle on it. Presently the fridge is packed full of bottles of clean water, and I’ve held on to a 21 liter jug from a water delivery company and filled that up as well. It certainly is easier than having water delivered, and I hope it will actually save a little money in the long run.