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Author Topic: Girly stuff - how did your wife adapt to the environment in your country?  (Read 1610 times)

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Offline InnocentVixen

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I know it's mostly manly men in this forum and a lot are not married or had their girlfriend visit them, but I have been curious for a while now...


You see, now that I have been going to San Diego more often I have noticed some changes, the most obvious one has been my scalp, it is crazy dry!! to the point I was considering going to the dermatologist... or I should say was, turns out if I stop visiting for long enough it goes back to normal, at first I just figured it was my skin adapting to the different type of water, I have read about about "hard water" levels in US, I wouldn't know the levels here or there but maybe that is it? if I were to live in an area like that would a shower filter solve my problem?


It doesn't make much sense to me, I come from a country where we don't drink the water straight from the faucet (in fact I don't in the US either, habit hard to break) so why does my skin reacts so bad to it? shouldn't be better?


A few years ago in a previous relationship I went to visit my then boyfriend to PA and didn't have this problem, I did however had my allergies act up but it was not as bad as the heat wave that turned me into a half comatose zombie.


As you guys know I have traveled to a couple of places in the US before and done my share of traveling in my own country where I had to adapt to different weather/water/food and all that... makes me wonder what ladies had to deal with once they arrive to their husband's country and how do they deal with it, I am particularly curious about those that didn't really travel before and are used to very specific environment.


I know it's a bit of a pointless post, sorry I am bored haha.

Offline Ray

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Good questions IV.
 
Yes, the water here in San Diego is pretty hard, which can be rough on your skin and hair, especially that of the ladies.
 
A "filter" on your shower won’t help at all. The only thing that works is a water softener. It requires a unit installed to treat the whole house water supply. If you live in an apartment, you won’t be able to install one. The one we have requires that you add about 40 lb of salt every month or so. Most units cost around $300-$400 plus installation.
 
I know a lot of Filipina women complain about their hair and skin after coming to live in this area because of the hard water. You can compensate for most of that with good skin and hair conditioners and lotions, but my wife loves the soft water in our house. She appreciates it more when staying with relatives or in a hotel where the water is so much harder.
 
Another benefit of a water softener is that you will use much less soap, detergent, and shampoo, which will save you some real money over time.
 
Another cause of dry skin with the ladies is the use of home central heating during the cold weather, which dries out the air. In the Philippines, the humidity is always relatively high and heating your home is unheard of, so the contrast when moving here can be dramatic. A home humidifier might help with the dry air in wintertime.
 
Tip of the day: If you want an inexpensive and effective fix for dry scalp, try rubbing in a small amount of baby oil.
 
Ray
 

Offline Researcher

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      My wife really hasn't had many issues like that. Getting used to the food and water was about it. I have noticed when we return to Bogota she gets out of breath like me because of the altitude.

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Offline InnocentVixen

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Another cause of dry skin with the ladies is the use of home central heating during the cold weather, which dries out the air. In the Philippines, the humidity is always relatively high and heating your home is unheard of, so the contrast when moving here can be dramatic. A home humidifier might help with the dry air in wintertime.


I forgot to mention that! I have sinus problems but they rarely bother me back home and even less in other parts of Mexico yet in SD they have been bothering me a lot, we are not used to heating that much either so that must be it. And thanks for the tip I will try the oil :)


AB your wife is so lucky not to have this little issues, has she noticed a difference at all like an improvement perhaps? I remember out of all the places I've been, Mazatlan was really the best for me once I got used to the hot weather, I didn't need a hair dryer or any products on my hair, that for me is amazing since taming my hair is no easy task back home.

Offline Kiltboy1

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IV
 
My wife being from Quito where it is not too hot or cold took a while to get used to the hot and humid summers here in North Carolina, but in general she adapted very well. Unlike a lot of wives of guys here, my wife came from a professional family and went right to work when she got here because that is what she wanted to do with her time. She is not one that gets homesick much either but does speak to her family several times a week by phone. All in all, she had very little trouble adapting to life here . She did however discover reality TV, which I hate , but hey, it makes her happy and by seeing those disfunctional idiots, she knows how good she has it with me, LOL
 
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Offline DesmondID

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My wife has only been here a little over four months but so far:

The hair: She had a problem with it falling out (in globs - she was not happy) and with dandruff.. The hairdresser here told her that she saw it a lot with people that moved from other climates and that it was temporary (5 to 6 months) .. She has switched shampoos a couple of times. The dandruff is gone and she said she is no longer losing hair and it is looking better/stronger than it was.

As far as the hard water.. as mentioned above the only thing you can do is install a soft water system for a few hundred dollars. I have not done that in my home as I don't like the taste of soft water (used to the minerals) unless it is really cold. My wife has not complained about the taste but she mostly drink bottled water or that zero cal power-aide stuff.

One thing on the adaptation: When I visit tropical areas if I spend more than a week I start getting acne.. My wife lived for several years in a tropical climate with no problems but after being here just a few months we visited a tropical area and both had minor breakouts.

So far no problems with being homesick, handling the cold, or with food.. The family communication is a bit different. Generally she calls in via Skype in the evenings and just carts around the laptop most the night with them connected.. They may go 30 minutes and say nothing then a conversation will spark up for 10-15 minutes..

Offline V_Man

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I was/am woried about this topic because it is hot and humid for 9 months of the year here.  The pores of your skin open up and it is common to have minor irritations for a few months until your body adjusts. However mi novia has been to tropical places for short trips several times and loves it. Hence she isn't concerned.

What is worring her are the animals. Compared to most cities in the world we have a fair bit of wild life here. She is a very urban girl and doesn't really like any animals except for dogs. I pointed out to her that she really likes dogs and other animals aren't very different.  I told her to think of animals as amigos. Then she saw how I react to animals and compared that to her reaction. It's like night and day. She thought about it and realises that her fears are not rational, it is just that she is not used to seeing them or interacting with them in any way, except dogs.

We took a long walk along a beach in Colombia. We were walking in the water as I like to do. Only ankle/shin deep. As we walked along I got nipped by crabs about 4 or 5 times. I thought I'd better not mention it because I was affraid she would want to leave the water. Then of course eventually one got her. Wow! Did she react??? Did she ever!!! jajajaja! I told her that they were just being friendly. I told her they are my friends. They are just saying: "Hola!!!! Estoy aqui!!!". After all I can't keep my hands off her so of course the crabs feel the same way. jajajaja!!!  ;D

Offline Jeff S

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Hey V-Man: you'll get a kick out of these actual questions posted in an Australia Tourism forum, along with the countries where the questions originated: (Gotta love that Aussie humor.)



Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.


Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.


Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles. Take lots of water.


Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?


Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big, triangle-shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific, which does not... Oh, forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in King's Cross. Come naked.


Q: Which direction is north in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south, and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here, and we'll send the rest of the directions.


Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.


Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is... Oh, forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys' Choir plays every Tuesday night in King's Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
 
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?


Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney, and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.


Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled, and make good pets.


Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.


Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.


Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.


Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.


« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 06:51:29 PM by Jeff S »

Offline robert angel

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It's usually hot and humid where we live, as it is where my wife comes from. But the water is different, and it's hard to believe, but for the most part, she still takes cold showers (unless I'm in there), as she feels it's better for her hair and skin. She might start a little warm, but it's full cold after a bit. My teeth chatter in water that cold.
 
The food here--the way it's not the same--how it's 'enriched' and 'refined'--basically over processed with all kinds of crap added here, can have negative effects too--but that's a whole topic by itself. She eats well (plenty) here, but last summer on an extended visit back home, she ate twice as much a day for over a month, never got sick and actually lost a few pounds.
 
But the water and the air here has negative effects on hair, skin and nails, of which she is pretty much able to nullify. Air conditioning everywhere when it's warm/hot and then heating systems when it's cold,  make the relative humidity in homes, work, shopping places and cars usually lower than it is in deserts like California's Death Valley. It never rains indoors!
 
Dandruff annoyed her for a while, although she noticed it more than I did. First, apple vinegar was what she chose and it worked pretty good, but as she was still a bit annoyed, I suggested she ask our internist physician and he prescribed some shampoo she uses occasionally. Switching shampoos periodically is good and we must have 30 different types of conditioner--finding a good brand there has been hardest, but overall, Dove's 'Intensive Repair' shampoo and conditioner is the favorite as of late.
 
You may find that even if you have a product you like here or there and go to a different country and try and buy it there, that even though the bottle/packaging--that even the ingredients appear identical, it's just not the same as 'back home'.
 
She thinks that cold water helps keep her hair shiney, but she also uses products like 'Citre Shine' which make her hair even more silky and shiney. Still, after a couple weeks back home, her hair is as shiney as humanly possible and more so than here--like I need sunglasses when looking at her out in the sun--although she avoids direct sun as much as possible.
 
The super low humidity can take a toll on skin too and as of late, the relatively inexpensive 'Nivea Body--Simply Soft' keeps her skin super soft, w/o any greasey feel. Even I am using it occasionally. She occasionally uses some more expensive facial creams, but not really that much or too often.
 
A good, inexpensive skin scrub for all around use is Neutragena's Apricot scrub--but even the Walmart house brand  of ground up apricot skin scrub is good. You can use that stuff head to toe to remove any dead skin you might have--'exfoliate' is the proper term, I think, LOL.
 
She's not much for make up or lipstick, although once she hit her thirties age wise, she moved from just lip moisturizers to occasionally wearing subtle lipstick. It makes her look older--like she's eighteen or something. But she'll put some lipstick on and remove 90% of it before leaving the house. I can only roll my eyes. Likewise, instead of polishing her nails by buffing them, now she'll use some clear laquer or a modest color polish--no fire engine red lipstick or nail polish. She has them and will occasionally try them at home, but she chooses to remove that 'high velocity' stuff before venturing outside.
 
She gets furious if I even try and cut my own nails and if I've learned not to fall asleep when she's doing my nails because if I do, my finger and toenails will not only be very tidy looking, but she'll have them polished to the point where I can see myself in them--sort of embarassing if I have meetings at work. I'll sometimes wear a nice, cotton pinpoint weave pale pink dress shirt to work w/o tie, but after she's done my nails 'her way' if I'm not paying attention--I need to think twice about what I'm wearing!
 
Compared to a lot of ladies, she's very 'low maintainance' in terms of costs for creams, lotions, beauty treatments and that sort of stuff. What's so wonderful--what's really 'priceless' is that how she looks during the middle of the day is pretty much what she looks like when she wakes up--save for her hair being a bit tussled--which makes her sexier still--totally 'au naturale'.
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Offline V_Man

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Hey V-Man: you'll get a kick out of these actual questions posted in an Australia Tourism forum, along with the countries where the questions originated: (Gotta love that Aussie humor.)


Jajajajajaja Gold!!!!!!!!!!

True story:

I travel a lot for work. A few years ago I was walking down the main street in the largest city in New Zealand. This is across a large sea from Australia. It is about the same distance as from London to Moscow.

Anyway two gorgeous blonde Swedish girls with backpacks on their backs stopped me to ask for directions. OK no problem. Except that they asked me in all innocence where to catch the ferry to Australia!!!!

Another true story.
I was in the USA many years ago.
This overweight middle aged American woman was talking with me. She was a friend of someone who worked in my office. I didn't particularly like either of them but I was being careful to be polite due to the work connection.

Anyway this woman asks me; "Do you get 'USA Today' over there?"
I replied; "No. I don't think so."
Then she asks in all seriousness; "Well how do you know what is happening in the world?"

Offline V_Man

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Getting back on topic. The following is a diary of the typical English expat that moves to my city. Here it is hot for 9 months of the year and sunny almost all the time. This will give you some insight into why I worry about how my latina will get along here. It takes time for people to adjust even without the cultural and language barrier.

Diary of a Australian Summer
August 31st
Just got transferred with work into our new home in Australia!! Now this is a city that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. What a place! I watched the sunset from a deck chair on the verandah. It was beautiful. I've finally found my home. I love it here.
September 13th
Really heating up. Got to 35 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun every day like this. I'm turning into a sun worshiper.
September 30th
Had the backyard landscaped with tropical plants today. Lots of palms and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing lawn for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here.
October 10th
The temperature hasn't been below 30 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least today it's kind of windy though. But getting used to the heat and humidity is taking longer that I expected.
October 15th
Fell asleep by the pool. Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body. Missed 3 days of work. What a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though. Got to respect the ol' sun in a climate like this.
October 20th
Horror Day. I missed Kitty (our cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning. By the time I got to the hot car for lunch, Kitty had died and swollen up to the size of a shopping bag. I told the kids that she ran away. The car now smells like Wiskettes and cat [snip], the upholstery is never going to be the same. I learned my lesson though. No more pets in this heat.
October 25th
The wind sucks. It feels like a giant bloody blow dryer!! And it's hot as hell. The home air-conditioner is on the blink and the AC repairman charged $200 just to drive over and tell me he needed to order parts.
October 30th
Been sleeping outside by the pool for 3 nights now. Bloody $450,000 house and we can't even go inside. Why did I ever come here?
November 4th
It's 35 degrees. Finally got the ol' air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $500 and gets the temperature down to 25, but this bloody humidity makes the house feel like it's about 30. Stupid repairman. I hate this stupid place.
November 8th
If another wise arse cracks, "Hot enough for you today?" I'm going to strangle him. Bloody heat. By the time I get to work the car's radiator was boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like baked cat!!
November 9th
Tried to run some messages after work. Wore shorts, and sat on the black leather seats in the ol' car. I thought my arse was on fire. I lost 2 layers of flesh and all the hair on the back of my legs and my arse. Now my car smells like burnt hair, fried arse, and baked cat.
November 10th
The weather report might as well be a bloody recording. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. It's been too hot to do anything for 2 damn months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn't it ever rain in this damn place? Water rationing will be next, so my $2,000 worth of palms just might dry up and blow into the bloody pool. Even the palms can't live in this heat.
November 14th
Welcome to HELL!!! Temperature got to 38 today. Now the air-conditioner's gone in my car. The repairman came to fix it and said, "Hot enough for you today?" My wife had to spend the $2,500 house payment to bail my arse out of jail for assulting the repairman. Bloody Australia. What kind of a sick demented idiot would want to live here?
December 1st
WHAT????? This is the first day of Summer???? You are [snip]ing kidding me!!!!

 
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 11:00:29 PM by V_Man, Reason: font »

Offline Ray

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Offline V_Man

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Hey! Don't get be wrong. Australia is a great place.
The only reason Jesus wasn't born in Sydney was because they couldn't find three wise men and a virgin.

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Offline InnocentVixen

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Researcher, I was not paying attention and for some reason your avatar made me think you were AB, sorry about that, the questions were for you!


Rob, thanks so much for all the detail, it is true that cold water is better for your hair and skin! we are not crazy!! trying the vinegar thing did cross my mind but I was worried it would be too harsh so that is why I didn't try it, will consider it in the future.


Desmond I am glad your wife is not having trouble with her hair anymore, to suddenly have a change like that must be scary, maybe I will be like that if a move to a place with hard water, but now I am prepared  :D


V_man... and to think I begged my father years ago to take that job in Australia, I loved the idea of living somewhere different for a couple of years... now I think I might have not survived!!

Offline robert angel

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Australia: "The land where men are men ~-- and women are nervous.... :-X "
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Offline DesmondID

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Desmond I am glad your wife is not having trouble with her hair anymore, to suddenly have a change like that must be scary, maybe I will be like that if a move to a place with hard water, but now I am prepared  :D


Thank you for the comment... A couple of things I neglected to mention: The first was the nosebleeds. She got these for a couple of months which I suspected was the move to a dryer/colder climate. They went away after a couple of months. Also she did have some skin problems (mainly flaking and some minor rashes) she tried out several lotions.. Nivea with Vitamin E is what she ended up sticking with though that may just be what she was using when she acclimated.

She also complained of being tired in the mornings and sleeping in. I thought this was probably particular to her but at a Christmas party she was talking with some of my family from Mexico and another from Bolivia. The three she was having a conversation with mentioned having weird sleep patterns for the first few months after arriving...
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 01:00:15 PM by DesmondID »

Offline InnocentVixen

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 :o  nose bleeds? wow she had a really hard time! how long did it take her to go back to normal?


I've actually heard guys complain their novia became lazy as soon as she arrived to the US, I think sometimes they are just taking longer to adapt and the guy doesn't realize or just doesn't care, it's easy thing to say when the symptoms are not that obvious like sleepiness.

Offline robert angel

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When we're stuck inside a lot, the low humidity, or when the humidity is otherwise low outdoors, my wife occasionally get minor nose bleeds. Saline spray or other nasal sprays can help. Steam and/or using a neti pot can give some relief.
 
The clock time and variable amount of daylight and dark hours according to season being diferent than what they knew back home, can throw some off for a while. Not having a lot of friends, family or work to stimulate the mind, nor as much opportunity to walk around outdoors, can compound things.
 
We have to be careful sometimes, because our loved ones may be really trying hard to 'put on a happy face', when they're actually sad to an exent and missing things more than they want to let off.  They may love us and don't want to make us feel bad.
 
For sleep, some find taking melatonin helps, although some people feel that melatonin--which your body normally makes itself in response to exposure to outdoor light, makes their dreams more intense.
 
Eating different foods and drinking different things at different times can help too.
 
When there are sleep problems, as well as when there aren't, cuddling, back scratching, as well sex with your loved one always helps, of course!--lol  ;D
 
Good luck, Desmond!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 09:03:11 PM by robert angel »
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Offline DesmondID

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:o  nose bleeds? wow she had a really hard time! how long did it take her to go back to normal?

I've actually heard guys complain their novia became lazy as soon as she arrived to the US, I think sometimes they are just taking longer to adapt and the guy doesn't realize or just doesn't care, it's easy thing to say when the symptoms are not that obvious like sleepiness.

I was thinking they lasted a couple of months but I just asked her and she said she still gets them but much less frequently and not nearly as bad (maybe once per week) so... 4  months so far.

On the sleep thing.. I remember staying with her family in Colombia.. at night there were open windows with a breeze, rain falling many of the days, and always the sound of other people (cars, music, shouting in the distance, etc)... The change to a cold climate, windows shut, no breeze, and no familiar white noise at night, just stoic silence (unless the dogs are snoring which they seldom fail to disappoint)... and on top of that 9 hours of light per day instead of 12.. I could see that throwing a person off. With the days getting longer and the weather improving we are going to start opening the windows at night starting tonight..

I am making this sound worse than it is.. The problems have seemed somewhat trivial so far...

Offline InnocentVixen

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I know it is not a life or death thing, but still scary for someone who has never experienced those kind of things, if she was an hypochondriac for example, she would no doubt think she was dying! haha some other less important things like the dry skin and such are just plain frustrating and uncomfortable, knowing what to do would certainly help getting rid of the problem faster.


I am just curious about this little things since nobody really mention them much and if I end up having to move there someday I would like to know what to expect or if I can prevent it somehow. Also I think it doesn't hurt for the lurkers out there to know.

Offline robert angel

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It's beginning to sound like we're saying "If you go to the USA, DON'T drink or even bathe in the water!"
 
What's ironic is that when we were kids, we could buy neat plants advertised in the back of comic books, called "Venus Fly Traps" and when a bug landed or crawled on the plant, the plants leaves closed on the bug and the plant actually digested the bug. If you were a boy--it was kinda like having your own dinosaur in a plant--most girls were grossed out by them. You gave it a little tap water and if no bugs were around, that and a little bit of hamburger kept it alive and well.
 
Sometimes I still come across the plants and give them to schools, but they never seem to live long.
 
Today's USA tap water has so many chemical additives (chlorine, flouride, traces of DEET, atrazine, benzene, etc) that it kills the plant. If you give the plant hamburger--same thing--chemicals, preservatives and antibiotics in the meat will kill it. Find a dead bug to feed it instead? Chances are that pesticides killed the bug and will kill the plant too.
 
BTW--almost all bottled water--such as Dasani and Aquafina, is rebottled city water......
You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. –Christopher Columbus

Offline InnocentVixen

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Yes Rob, in a way american water is starting to sound more dangerous than mexican water lol


Aquafina!! yes I think that is a brand I tried and I didn't like it, I was given a weird stare, I guess I came off as high maintenance being picky about water since not only I drink just bottled water but I didn't like the brand :P

Offline DesmondID

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It's beginning to sound like we're saying "If you go to the USA, DON'T drink or even bathe in the water!"
 
BTW--almost all bottled water--such as Dasani and Aquafina, is rebottled city water......

In general I don't think there is anything wrong with tap water.. I use bottled water because I like it cold and I grab a bottle when I walk out of the house. When I lived alone I would just refill them and only go through one ever two days or so..  The amount of fluoride is supposed to be one part per million for teeth. In many parts of the US (parts of the midwest and the South) water naturally has more than this so they actually remove excess Fluoride... My only complaint with my water is the high sulfur content... I could remove it with a softener but soft water tastes bad to me unless it is cold.

I have two water supplies on my property.. one untreated straight from the well and other is city treated water.. Guess which one I won't drink  ;)

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