Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
June 9, 2024 ·  4 min read

Europeans Are Outraged Over Claim By Americans That They Don’t Drink Water

The latest viral topic on TikTok is a claim that Europeans do not drink water enough! The claimants are American tourists in the continent who have apparently struggled to get their hydration needs met. To no one’s surprise, however, Europeans are quite offended by such claims. One of the first clips explaining the weird claim was by New Jersey resident Isabella Sweet.

18-year-old Isabella posted the video from a balcony in Athens, Greece. In it, she makes a show of drinking a bottle of water. Her reasoning? Europeans do not hydrate enough! In her words: “Europeans do not believe in regular water consumption.” Sweet got a considerable amount of support on her clip, with others chiming in saying that even visiting the restrooms cost money. Another viewer claimed that they had only been served two small glasses of water on a 9-hour flight to Paris. On the other hand, there was plenty of criticism too. One sarcastically stated how they had to rent hotel rooms for water, or had to carry water from the river every Saturday.

Do Europeans Really Not Drink Water?

Earlier on July 3rd, another TikTok user, Kate Kennedy posted a clip in which she was dancing with her friends on the street while holding water bottles. In the caption, she explained that they would carry their own water bottles while visiting fancy restaurants since they charge 2 euros minimum per meal for them. She also advised visitors to not depend on tap water. When a commenter asked them to request tap water since it was free, Kennedy replied that they had already tried that option.

@katekennedy1

Every euro counts

♬ –

In Sweet’s case, there was a more detailed backstory. She was returning from a Rutgers University trip to Leros in Greece. The video’s inspiration was her group’s experience when they had to request water. They also had to pay separately for it at every restaurant they visited. She explained that many times, the waiters would give them sparkling water or entirely forget about serving water. In fact, on the day she made the clip, they were struggling to find any water after a long day of walking. However, for all intents and purposes, it was intended as a joke.

Moreover, there are a few theories as to why this perception is around. On July 17th, 22-year-old Nina, of French and Czech ancestry, complained that tourists from the US who had to bring their own water into the restaurants were being scammed. She explained that she never paid for water during her entire life in Europe.

How Available Is Tap Water?

Regardless of the opinions and experiences of the individuals, it is a lesser-known fact that tap water is free only in some European countries, not all. Spain, the United Kingdom, and France make it legally compulsory for restaurants to serve tap water without charge. However, quite a few countries, including Italy, Germany, and Netherlands do not have such laws since it is not usual for customers to request tap water at restaurants.

Moreover, although Western Europe’s tap water is quite safe, Eastern Europe needs precautions. TripSavvy recommends visitors to Ukraine, Belarus, Albania, and Montenegro to procure bottled water. So what is the reality of the situation? For Sweet, she felt attacked by the comments, so she took an “obsessive” stance over her statement.

@ninii.nemc

#collage avec @ashleigh i am really tired of this « water gate » americans are getting scammed in europe and it shows #europe #europeansummer #travel

♬ son original – Nina 🥐

Nina, on the other hand, remained uncertain about the origin of the perception. In fact, she claimed that Europeans think Americans do not drink water and only exist on sodas or Coke. She was also of the opinion that American tourists are far more gullible. As such, pushing sales of water is an easy tourist trap. In fact, there are many previous examples of Americans criticizing European travel and getting criticized in return for their lack of preparation.

In July, a Denver woman’s clip went viral after she claimed that visiting Italy’s Amalfi Coast was literally “manual labor”. Viewers, in turn, pointed out that she was barely prepared and that watching TikToks did not count as proper preparation. As such Nina explained that Americans visiting do not usually have the real European experience. It creates a bigger problem when they return: “But then they come back to the US and act like what they saw as a tourist is a general intangible fact, which contributes to misconceptions about our lifestyles as Europeans.

Sources

  1. US tourists are going viral on TikTok for claiming that Europeans don’t drink water. Europeans are saying they’re ignorant..” Insider. Aimee Pearcy. July 20, 2023