October 8, 2008

Odorheiu Secuiesc Mineral Water
Odorheiu Secuiesc, Romania

Tatiana looked at me with a puzzled expression on her face as the driver of our shuttle bus appeared to arbitrarily pull over to the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and run out of the vehicle. I lazily shrugged back to her, unconcerned, as my eyes followed the driver has he proceeded down the road embankment and into a corrugated steel A-frame.

He came running back with a bottle full of water, and suddenly everything became clear—it was a mineral water spring. We'd encountered such thing a thing before, back in Slovakia.

All this happened several days ago, upon our initial arrival into Odorheiu Secuiesc, but now it was my turn to sample the spring's 'healing' waters. Janos and Ary actually suggested it after hearing our recounting of the shuttle bus driver, citing that only a single of their CouchSurfing guests had actually found the moxy to drink the water, located a few kilometers outside of town.

Apparently the spring's creation was the resultant of a nearby attempt to harvest natural gas from the ground. Flash ahead fifty-something years to the present day and you'll find many a area local indulging in the foul-smelling water.

Yes, it reeks—smelling something quite similar to a confined space full of rotten eggs on a hot day. It's the sulfur, I suppose. (quite the opposite from the iron-rich tasting spring water in Slovakia.)

Tatiana wouldn't even try a sip of the stuff, whereas I drank my fair share. Not bad, it's just the smell that's off-putting. But when you've spent the better part of a week in SE Asia living in an entire orchard of durians, you learn to scale your perception of foul odors.

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