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Monday, December 04, 2006

Ancient civic ordinance method?

This has perplexed me for six years now. The full water bottle in front of a building. Why? What could it possibly mean?

I’ve asked many locals in Barcelona and no one has a definite answer. Apparently it is a common practice in other parts of Spain as well. Many say it prevents dogs from pissing on stoops and store fronts. Somehow, the presence of water enclosed in PVC plastic, in front of a building, is supposed to stop a bloated canine from pissing …

I know what you’re thinking. That’s total bullshit. Yet, I can’t think of any reason for the water bottle phenomenon. Just walk around Barcelona (and I imagine many other Spanish cities) and you will see filled water bottles, capped-off, in front of countless buildings. Could it be a civic gesture to thirsty homeless people? The down and out, the downtrodden, in need of replenishing water? Or maybe it’s a kindly gesture to the drunks stumbling home late at night, who need to be rehydrated after shots of fake absinthe, ron Havana, and canyas? Or could it be a deterrence for madly urinating tourists? I mean, for some mysterious reason, I would avoid pissing on a water bottle. It doesn't seem right ... but could that really be the reason?

Really. It defies my capacity for logic, which isn’t much. The water bottle in front of the apartment thing. No one questions it. They just do it. I wonder how far this tradition goes back; if before the plastic water bottles they used glass, and before that clay ...

If you know why, please send an email to spanishwatermystery@gmail.com. Gracias.


I just did a quick search on google and found nothing except this article on SalDeTraglia's blog. This guy had about as much luck as I did.