Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Cause of All European Wars

(Rob writing) The breakthroughs keep coming in my understanding of European history. I have discovered the root cause of all European wars, and it’s not what you think. I’ve heard all of the stories about disputes over territory, the assassination of this or that duke, and so on. Those are just the sparks that set the fire going. The fuel which the fire burns, though, is something far more insidious. I am speaking, of course, of seltzer water.

All over Europe, seltzer water is sold side-by-side with real water. If there are marks on the packaging to distinguish the two, they are detectable only by a Ph.D. linguist equipped with an electron microscope. The layman simply can’t tell the difference. Every day about half of the people in Europe are bound to purchase the wrong kind of water. It’s just the law of averages.

Now, when an innocent consumer takes a swallow of what he believes to be cool and refreshing water, and instead receives the harsh bite of vile seltzer water, real anger is kindled. A simmering, seething rage is born that lies just beneath the surface. If you’ve met many Europeans, you know what I mean. Then when something happens, say the invasion of Poland, everyone is already primed for war. They think to themselves, “Heck yeah, I’d like to shoot the %$#@ that snuck that seltzer water into my bottle,” and the battle is joined. I really think I’m onto something here.

Of course, they might just be angry at their landlords. At our present apartment, for example: 1)The internet service doesn’t work, 2)The phone doesn’t work, 3)There’s neither air conditioning, a fan, nor even really a window that opens properly, 4)The oven has no wire racks, and hence can’t be used, 5)The soap tray for the front-loading washer is missing, 6)The single stovetop pan available is a saucepan with no handles, and 7) Right now the water is turned off. If you imagine the French peasants as tenants and the French nobles as landlords, then the guillotine becomes not only understandable, but really quite forgivable. The breakthroughs keep coming.

All of that anger could be assuaged, though, if there were only a few more fine Christian folks like the Nances (adopting Zenya and Alec) and the Heims (adopting Darya) from Reece‘s Rainbow whom we met this evening. We looked for a fan today, but all we found were fancy clothes and matryoshka (nesting) dolls. We whined all of our troubles to them, and then after we left, they went out, found a fan, and bought it for us. They gave it to us as a gift. How nice. And I will also say this: I heard both of these families fret about the costs of things, and I can tell they’re both budgeting as tightly as possible while they’re over here. Expenses can be unpredictable when you’re adopting overseas, and they’re being careful what they spend on themselves. Yet when our need came up, they were generous with us. I have often thought before that this is a mark of God’s people: they are frugal for themselves, but generous for others. That is certainly true of these folks.


  1. FYI...BonAqua with NO GAS has a LIGHT blue cap. That should save you some grief :). Glad you got a fan!

  2. GENERALLY but not always light blue caps mean no gas. dark blue caps mean gas. and the green caps? I have no idea lol. I wasnt about to find out. This post is so hilarious. oh the memories you will have! no water? go play in the fountains, everyone does it. Enjoy this crazy adventure, after 5 weeks there being held hostage by the sda, we are home and I already miss many things there. top of the list is the people we met! they will be your lifeline for sure!! dont forget to try the Ukrainian restraunt across from TGIF. I think we ate there a hundred times.

  3. Now you know why I drink so much Coke when in Ukraine! If the Bon Aqua light blue lid is unavailable, I'm drinking Coke!

  4. In some countries, regular good old water is called "still" or "no gas" water. The seltzer stuff could have names like "sparkling", "gas" or "bubbly". Good luck tomorrow.

  5. Reminds me of being in Chile. Always look for the "sin gas" on the bottle! It's good to see you're keeping your sense of humor through it all!

  6. Oh! We were burned MANY times getting a swig of seltzer expecting distilled. What a disappointment...especially coupled with the only "slight" refrigeration of the "cold" grocery products!

  7. funny, I love the seltzer water :)

  8. Ahh. The Seltzer Water. Hate the seltzer. HATE THE SELTZER!!!
    you lost the appartment wars. Ours was great!


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