Sunday, April 10, 2005

A propos de l'eau

The Outpost has a chronic water shortage problem. It is generally dry and during the 'events' (don't you just love euphemisms?) of the totemic year, control of essential water resources was lost by the Principality. As a result, water was rationed (until 2001, I think) and water tanks on buildings were used to ensure storage and continuous supply of water. That is why they are ubiquitous (usually on roofs, to provide enough pressure, but to the effect of creating eyesores). So far, nothing particularly impressive. It can happen to the best of families, and may soon happen to many of them.

At the same time, the Outpost experienced a surge or resurgence in tourism. Even today, tourism (and, until very recently, alleged money laundering: it used to be a tax haven with lots of offshore companies) is the main source of income for the Principality. The kind of tourism developed and operating here is of the high maintenance, build-and-build sort (very much akin to slash-and-burn agriculture). Hence, more eyesores and mega-hotels pop up all the time, as I have told you before, all of them excessively pool-thirsty, needing more, bigger and deeper pools. This of course entails less water for everyone else. Now, lately it has been announced the authorities want to develop more golf courses... As pauvre Marie-Antoinette put it: "Why don't they drink Evian"? As for personal hygiene, Evian comes in atomisers, too.

I thought of all these things because of a walk by the sea today. A lot of the houses there had pools almost on the shoreline, separated from it by 6 metres of sandy beach. Here is one of them, not without its essential Grecian folly / gazebo (pool not visible, but huge).


At least, its garden is nice.


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