Stijn van Gils

Column: Mineral water

She runs her hands gracefully through her hair. I watch the foam slowly running off her shoulders. I stare at her for a moment, and then go on to observe the bathroom. I see the usual stuff: some bottles, a piece of soap, a shower curtain. Only a bottle of Spa Blauw mineral water seems…
Stijn van Gils

I’ve forgotten which shampoo she uses; I don’t tend to remember that sort of thing. What I do remember is that she had chosen the product with care. That’s what she’s like: she gives careful thought to almost everything she does. I admire that. I can talk to her for hours about science, our PhD research, life in general… She never ceases to surprise me with new perspectives. But then she is much smarter than I am, and much more scientific.

Contented, I look at her closed eyes. She rinses off the foam with a gentle stream of water. She opens her eyes and looks at me radiantly. ‘Can you pass me that bottle?’ She indicates the bottle of Spa Blauw. My jaw drops.

‘I find the water too hard, so…’ she begins, hesitantly. I start arguing with her. ‘So you think the water is too full of minerals so you buy mineral water?’ I’m teasing her but I really am amazed at her totally unscientific conduct. She gives me a guilty look. To tone down my attack I kiss her on the shoulder. ‘Okay, so I’m not so rational about these kinds of things,’ she says softly. ‘I just wanted to make my hair a bit more beautiful. But it was stupid, I admit.’ I forgive her with a grin.

I’m not going to tell her just yet that I’ve just found out that Spa contains much less calcium and is therefore softer than Wageningen water.

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