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Don’t Drink the Water… in Florida?

December 9, 2008

You’ve probably heard about travelers getting Montezuma’s Revenge in Mexico, Thai-dal wave in Thailand or Delhi Belly in India – really uncomfortable conditions (which is a polite way of saying ‘horrible diarrhea and vomiting’) that’s caused by drinking tap water in foreign places where the water supply contains things that your body isn’t used to.

I have a pretty strong stomach and have never had trouble with the tap water anywhere, until I went to exotic and exciting Jacksonville, Florida. Yes, I’m serious.

I was visiting a friend in Jax last week and had a perfectly nice first three days. On night four though, I poured myself a glass of water from the kitchen sink before going to bed. Up to then I’d only had bottled water (left over from my flight – I usually avoid plastic bottles), juice, soda or hot tea.

Within 20 minutes, my tummy was grumbling. Another 20 minutes and I was running for the bathroom, where I stayed for an hour before trying to go to bed. Two hours later, around 3:00 a.m., I was up and running again, and it wasn’t pretty. 

The lesson here is that you don’t have to go to a far-off, foreign location to have an exciting, harrowing travel experience. A friend’s guest room and restroom will do just fine, and give you stories to share for a lifetime 🙂

The other lesson is that from now on I’ll take water purification tablets, iodine or a water filter with me wherever I go – even the suburbs.

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