An Accidental Drink of Water In Kolkata

An Accidental Drink of Water In Kolkata
An Accidental Drink of Water In Kolkata

KOLKATA, India — A split-second after swallowing a mouthful of water in the shower, the words that flashed through my mind were almost blinding in their intensity: “Don’t drink the water.”

Maybe it was the jet-lag. Perhaps it was a brief case of temporary insanity.

Either way, it was too late.

The moment reminded me of a scene in the “Sex and the City” movie where Charlotte absentmindedly drinks the water while bathing at a Mexican seaside resort the characters visit. Never having experienced such misfortune myself, I had been south of the border enough to know what that could mean.

Bacteria, parasites or viruses — oh, my.

My original concern was avoiding the dreaded “Delhi belly” I’d heard about. That was also the reason I had decided to play it safe my first night in India, at least in my gastronomical choices, if not my unintended wanderings.

Now, I had Kolkata municipal water in my tummy. I was, suffice it to say, a little worried.

Happy to have booked a couple of nights at the lovely, charming Fairlawn Hotel, I had been almost ecstatic to have my own bath, with running water, which could be considered spacious by New York apartment standards.

Although I prided myself on having a strong stomach, I knew that status (imagined or not) would be no match for certain pathogens not unfamiliar in the developing world.

Would my trip be cut short? Would I need to use my travel insurance at the very start of my Indian excursion? Was my life in danger?

It’s true that I could’ve contacted the excellent hotel staff and either inquired about the water’s filtration system or asked about an antidote for any waterborne illnesses I might encounter in the very near future.

Instead, I decided to venture into the city streets and hope for the best.


9 thoughts on “An Accidental Drink of Water In Kolkata

    1. Thank you! I know that people do drink the local water in much of the world, including in my family’s Peru, and that residents are often much more tolerant of the bacterial strains that exist than travelers from other countries. I will definitely keep everyone posted about what happened next!

  1. Hi,
    It is so easy to get some sort of bacteria from water in a different country. I hope everything turns out all right and you didn’t take in enough to do you any harm.

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