I keep reading and hearing complaints about how certain cafes and bars in Singapore don't serve tap water, and I can't help contrasting the attitudes of these establishments to the rest of the world. It's full of shit, really. And perhaps we should go the way of legislation for these establishments to serve free tap water.
Many developed countries in the world serve tap water free, especially if the tap water quality is good. Hey, water is a precious commodity. If a country is so developed as to assure humans that it's drinkable without being boiled, then I expect a certain level of generosity in sharing it everywhere. France does it. Although not legislated, most restaurants and bars in UK do it cheerfully, but the demand for bottled water is strong. Tap water isn't served nor is it free in Germany, Spain or Italy. It isn't legislated in Sweden, but almost all places serve it free. United States is just strange. Some states/places do, some don't nor is it encouraged.
For years now, under the legislation, Australian bars and restaurants serve tap water free. There is little demand for bottled water and one can see it from the limited range of bottled water on the menu at restaurants. I'm not hot about tap water because it taste weird, chemical and eeky. But I will drink it with a slice of lemon because I'm damn thirsty. Whisky, beer and wine don't quench thirst. It's such a pleasure to see water arrive on the table, especially after a long drive. It's a very good practice that I welcome.
Our government has spent so much freaking money on purifying water that will flow safe from our taps. Why should I even pay S$1 for water at crappy eateries? I walk out of eateries who charge me for plain water especially if I'm ordering a plentiful meal, and already has a Diet Coke or something else with it. I just like water with my meal, can? I HATE BEING CHARGED FOR WATER. Seriously, what's the big deal about serving table water? If the higher end restaurants do it, then the cafes and middle-of-the-road eateries should also do it. Establishments in Singapore could work the cost of tap water into the menu somewhat. It won't cost much. I'm very tempted to say legislate, but it would mean that Singaporeans and associated venues will only do something if it's legislated. What a shame.