And what's really funny is that NONE of my kids know how to do it. This is crazy. (Although Evie claims she pretty much got the hang of it during her month in New Jersey last summer.)
When I first met my in-laws, when they visited us 13 years ago in Provo, one of the things that shocked me was the fact that my 11 year-old Polish nephew had absolutely no idea how to drink from a drinking fountain. I'd never met anyone that was out of diapers that didn't know how and it was hilarious watching him try.
Now here I am with four children of my own, all out of diapers, who are also fountain-drinking impaired.
If you've spent any time in Europe you probably understand why. No drinking fountains. The nearest one I know of is 9 hours away in Freiberg, Germany, at the temple (just one of the many things I love about going to the temple).
No, one must purchase water. Always, always purchase water. No free tap water in restaurants, no place to catch a quick sip in the mall. NO FREE WATER. I miss drinking fountains and their convenience.
But there's something over here that I love almost as much. While in Łódź recently we drove through the streets at night and I saw these little bonfires placed randomly on the sidewalk. I thought that was so weird. Greg told me they are simply for pedestrians to warm themselves at. "How cool!" I thought (ironically).
Apparently during the time of martial law in Poland from 1981-1983 koksowniki were "invented" (?) mainly to keep the militia (during that time the police were referred to as militia) warm as they paced the streets making sure people were keeping curfew and other communism-imposed laws.
Fortunately the militia and the curfew and the communism have gone the way of ... other Polish-repressing bad things, but the coal bins? They're still here.
And I'm glad, because while we were out at the optician and getting Spencer a passport we did a lot of walking. It was well below zero (in both Fahrenheit and Celsius) and we froze. I was shocked at how quickly this thawed us and how wonderful it felt.
Almost as shocked as I was when I first watched my nephew at a drinking fountain.