We take a lot of things for granted, especially here in North America. We have a habit of expecting to have access to all the things we are used to having. We figure no matter where we go or what we do we have a right to it.
Whatever IT happens to be.
For some people, this changes as they travel to other countries because there is so much we have at our fingertips here in the 1st world. I'm excited to see what changes for me as I go to other places and visit some 3rd world countries.
One thing that will not change however is my expectation to have access to water (I fully understand that access to water, in general, is an issue for many places in the world). I'm not saying I expect fresh, clean water everywhere I go. In fact, I fully expect to encounter the exact opposite and have taken measures for when I do. However, when I'm in a large, international airport I fully expect to be able to find the bottled water I like.
For all of my adult life (and some of my childhood) I have always gotten a bottle of Fiji water when I fly. If I'm going to pay $4+ dollars for a bottle of water, I want it to be a bottle of water that I like and enjoy. It's a small thing but it brings me a sense of calm and makes me feel like I'm ready to go. I know exactly where to buy it at the buffalo airport (where I've done the majority of my flying from), I know what store has it at the Edmonton Airport, I know where to find it in terminal 3 at the Toronto airport for international flights, I even know the places I can buy it in terminal 1 at the Toronto Airport but today I was flying out of the domestic part of terminal 3 at YYZ and for the life of me could not find a single place that had the water I wanted.
I get that this isn't a huge deal and for most people it probably just sounds like I'm complaining about nothing, but for me this is a big deal. I don't smoke and I very rarely drink so for me this is my splurge item when I fly. I don't buy snacks or magazines at the airport. I buy one bottle of water. I know I'm going to pay a lot for it (especially at an airport) however I plan for this and budget for it. I don't think it's a lot to ask that I can find a 1L bottle of Fiji water to buy before I board a plane for 3+ hours (or longer depending on where I'm going).
Today however it took me more than an hour of walking from one end of the terminal to the other in order to find what I wanted. When I stopped to ask for it at stores along the way everyone (except for one very nice lady right by the customs clearance area) looked at me like I had three heads. Then when I finally did find a place that sold it, the lady at the cash asked, "Are you sure you want to buy that, it's $6".
YES, I'm sure. I can clearly read the sign. I know how much it costs. I clearly want it or I wouldn't have picked it up and walked to the cash with it. What gives this lady the right to judge me based on my choice of bottled water?
I, of course, did not explain I had just walked from one end of the terminal to the other just to find this 1L bottle of Fiji water. I simply paid for my water and walked all the way back to the other end where I needed to catch my flight.
I know I'm a water snob and I'm okay with it!
I wish it had been sold at a store closer to where I needed to be, but it wasn't so I was willing to wonder around to find it. I know that my expectation should change. However, I'm not naive enough to think it will simply because I had an issue finding what I wanted.
I think I have the right to have access to whatever kind of expensive bottle of water I want at the airport. Maybe I just still feel entitled. Maybe this will change. Maybe I just ask for too much…….