When In Roam

Carl Chu's Food & Travel Blog

Monday, July 09, 2007

Brown Water, Greenville

Among the first things I noticed when I checked into the Holiday Inn Express here, just outside of town in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, was the dirty toilet. Or so I thought. After giving it a quick flush, it was filled back up with the same brown water. And turning on the faucet, out flowed more brown water.

This was going to be one of those nightmare hotel stories, I thought, but for a national chain like Holiday Inn Express, surely I could have expected higher standards. I first suspected that maybe the storm runoffs may have gotten into the water system. This was the summer in the South after all, where thunderstorms are everyday occurrences. While driving over from Memphis just about an hour before, I had encountered a storm so severe that for fifteen minutes I had to slow down to 15 miles per hour because of the winds and rain.

I went to the front desk to tell them about my situation, but before I could finish my sentence, the manager smiled and pointed to a placard placed next to her. On it was the message: “The Water You See in the Bathroom is Normal.” The water is brown in Greenville, she said, and they’re proud of it.

According to local authorities, Greenville gets its water from an aquifer east of the Mississippi River, not from the river itself. The water filters through several ancient cypress swamps, picking up dissolved particles of decayed vegetation thousands of years old. While other municipalities installed microfiltration systems to clarify their water, Greenville residents repeatedly rejected referendums to buy one themselves, preferring their eau naturale, natural.

So I went back to my room and took a shower. The soap lathered up nicely in this brew of ancient woods. The water was so soft that my skin felt smooth and supple as if it were treated with superior moisturizer. And the shampoo rinsed off the hair nicely, leaving it full and bouncy without the need of a conditioner.

Later, I made green tea in the kitchenette. The brown water turned it looking like black tea, but the taste was sweet like nectar. This was indeed excellent water—from the tap no less!

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home