Water, water, water…

The biggest pain in the ass…

Do you want to know what the biggest inconvenience there is of living in Indonesia? It’s not so much the traffic, the crowds here and there, the roads, or shopping malls. Nope. Nope. Nope. 

It’s the simple process of getting water.

It seems like no matter how much water I buy, how many gallons of water I purchase… I always run out. Now, of course, water is a consumable product. Everybody has it. Everybody needs it to stay alive. So, of course, every time I run out, I buy more which would be normal. However, it is a major inconvenience and it’s basically being hauled around by trucks to stores every single day. While in Canada, we turn on the tap, take a drink of water and turn it off. We are done. Here the process of getting water is going down to the store picking up those big blue jugs of water and returning the empties. So much energy and time goes into hauling and distributing this precious resource.

Couple of gallons and put it inside a water dispenser.

Sure this seems simple. However, when you watch the amount of effort being put into getting water, it makes you think. Trucks run around with hundreds of blue jugs, delivering everywhere in Indonesia. The thought of this alone for 300 million people seems insane. Every single business, every single household. Millions and millions of people do not have a tap to simply just turn on for drinking water. For bathing, showering, and even some degree of cooking you can boil the water and you are good to go. It’s all fine but taking a nice cold glass of water from the tap isn’t even conceivable for an Indonesian.

Seems so simple to Canadians.

To Canadians and North Americans such as myself, this is one of the hardest things to get used to. Even to this day, after nearly 5 years of living in Indonesia, I find it to be a major pain in the ass to go get water. Not so much because of the weight of the bottle or having to haul it up the stairs, and bring it along on the scooter… No, the major inconvenience is running out of water. Mostly because then I don’t have a cup of coffee. And it is quite common when you enter a business or have a meeting everybody orders water because it’s hot outside and you kind of want a drink.

So while many people would think the biggest inconvenience is traffic and dealing with the crowds. It’s probably dirty washrooms and clean water. The next time you turn on the tap, make sure you don’t forget to turn it off. Many people in the world, such as myself at the moment do not have the convenience of running drinkable water straight from the tap.

The infrastructure and the amount of work that we need to be done to replace and run new pipes that would carry drinkable water would be inconceivable. So I really wonder if ever there will be running tap water, drinkable tap water available in Indonesia.

I have only seen two Villas in Bali that have a reverse osmosis system and the complete villa runs drinkable water. It is very expensive here for one and two even if we did have the convenience there would be no way an Indonesian would drink out of the tap.  

So there are some things we take for granted. All right, all right many things that we take for granted. However, going to get bottles of water is just a major inconvenience and I am about to go get some water right now. Take care of everyone and don’t forget to drink lots and lots of water.


Published by Zsolt Zsemba

Zsolt Zsemba has worn many different hats. He has been an entrepreneur, and businessman for over 30 years. Living abroad has given him many amazing experiences in life and also sparked his imagination for writing. After moving to Canada from Hungary at the age of 10 and working in a family business for a large part of his life. The switch from manufacturing to writing came surprisingly easily for him. His passion for writing began at age 12, mostly writing poetry and short stories. In 1999, the chance came to write scripts. Zsolt took some time off from his family business to write in Jakarta Indonesia for MD Entertainment. Having written dozens of soap operas and made for TV movies, in 2003 Zsolt returned to the family business once more. In 2018, he had the chance to head back to Asia once again. He took on the challenge to be the COO for MD Pictures and get back into the entertainment business. The entertainment business opened up the desire to write once more and the words began to flow onto the pages again. He decided to rewrite a book he began years ago. Organ House was reborn and is a fiction suspense novel while Scars is a young adult drama focused on life’s challenges. After the first two books, his desire to write not only became more challenging but enjoyable as well. After having several books completed he was convinced to publish them for your enjoyment. Zsolt does not tend to stay in one specific genre but tends to lean towards strong female leads and horror. Though he also has a few human interest books, he tends to write about whatever brews in his brain for a while.

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