In Warsaw, there are public water wells called Woda oligoceńska. Oligocene water. The Oligocene Period, I’ve learned since, occurred about 30 million years ago. Basically these are very deep wells, running more than 200m (650 ft) deep. They are housed in cute little buildings, and because it took me two years to be able to say oligoceńska, I always called them Dom wody, Water House. (But when I said Water House, not one person had any idea what I was talking about.) One can take the water all year. In the winter, you go into the house. In the summer, you tap the faucets on the outside of the house, as seen above.
In my neighborhood there are three such wells, though sadly, one of them has been closed for several months. We do not buy water. We go to the well. It tastes delicious. Someone else told me that her grandmother warned, “You must boil the water from the well before you drink it.” This never occurred to me. Two years and I’m still living, so I guess it’s O.K….
Because there is no water at the Railroad Garden, and no structure to catch it from, I haul it from the well. It’s about 2 or 3 blocks. I used to use my bike, on which I could carry eight 5-liter bottles: three on the front, three on the back, and two on each handlebar. Now, I have a wheelbarrow and can carry 60 l (15 gallons). My arms are bulging. Soon I should have a bike cart and I’ll be able to carry 90 l (24 gallons). One liter of water weighs one kilogram. Brilliant, that.
One time an old lady came in and asked me, “Is it yellow or white?” White meant the water was good. It was white.