Following the revelation that one or more restaurants at the Schueberfouer now charge €11.50 for a liter of bottled water, many Luxembourg residents have expressed outrage, describing such prices as exploitation. However, there is a very simple explanation why €11.50 is actually a very fair deal.
Miracle of chemistry
To start off, water doesn’t just happen. It’s not like you can just get two parts liquid hydrogen and one part liquid oxygen and shake them up like a martini. You need just the right conditions to form water, conditions that are extremely rare in the universe. Water is nothing short of a miracle, and miracles aren’t free.
So let’s suppose someone miraculously finds a spring of good mineral water in the east of Luxembourg, the sort of water that, inexplicably, makes you think of a horse galloping through a forest. Someone has got to collect it. Do you have any idea how much of a pain it is to collect water? You’ve got to use buckets, and the water splashes everywhere, and it probably ruins your shoes.
Even if the water looks good and continues to, inexplicably, make you think of a galloping horse, it still needs to be filtered and purified. This is not like simply pouring the water into a giant Brita filter. Or maybe it is. But probably not. And anyway, giant Brita filters are certainly very expensive.
After the water is all clean, some poor soul has to fill each bottle with it. This is not easy. Think about that time you tried to pour your glass of wine back into the bottle because you’d promised to stop at three. You made a huge mess, and that was only one bottle. Imagine doing this on an industrial scale.
The water is bottled and ready to go, so now it needs to be transported to the Schueberfouer. Is that where the galloping horse comes into play? It’s all starting to make sense now.
The bottle doesn’t just magically go from the restaurant refrigerator to your table and into your glass. Someone, usually a friendly but slightly overworked Luxembourgish teen who’s saving up for a mint green scooter, has to bring the bottle to your table, twist the cap off, and, time permitting, pour the contents into your glass. You think these kids work for free? Maybe you’re the one who actually condones exploitation, not the restaurants.
Conclusion: it’s a good deal
If you’ve got this far, you are starting to understand why €11.50 for a liter of water isn’t such a bad deal. And we didn’t even mention the time and energy it takes for someone to take all the old menus and menu boards and cross out €8.50, which until this year was the already high price for a liter of water, and change it to €11.50. No, the restaurants don’t add this to the price. Consider it a gift.
Originally published by RTL Today