Tell - me something: why do I always find it hard just to get along?

When this hit the club - and normalocharts back in 1984 it was the first time the world started to notice Level 42. OK, before that were minor hits like Heavy Weather and Microkid, but Hot Water hit eighties Europe like - well, like a big, biiiiig, subwoofer's bass hits you right in the solar plexus.

Never before was the broad public exposed to such a brute dose of Jazz-Funk: Ok, there were soft options like Shakatak, Mezzoforte or even The Style Council, but nobody started a track with a massive unisono 16th's riff of bass, guitar, synths and brass, rested for a bar and then launched in the most pulsating, vibrant bass track ever.

Especially interesting live (when the bass track is transplanted to a sequenced DX7 slap bass on acid with ca 30 percent speed increase), this went into countless now mid thirty-ish's bottoms and caused mass panic on dance floors.

Composed by their producer Wally Badarou together with Mike Lindup, Phil Gould and Mark King, even the lyrics were rousing and a classic battle between adolescent sons and their dads.

Although a reviled band in a reviled genre, Level 42 made one lasting impact with this song: bass lines were never ever the same....

Indeed, an impeccable groove.

Do you drink hot water? I mean plain water, heated. Sipped like coffee or tea, yet without either infusion to clutter up your taste buds or interfere with your body chemistry.

I ask this because my family does drink hot water. Specifically my parents. Making a generalization based upon not much evidence at all, I'd say a whole lot of people in Asia do it too. Just think of the hot pot sitting on the counter, always ready to refill that mug of tea. It is ubiquitous. It's like a squat little household god, single-mindedly fulfilling its extremely important purpose: keep the water hot.

I suppose it shouldn't suprise me that something so basic to one aspect of my life seems to be completely alien to the larger culture I was born into. But I do wonder. Not because ours has become a water snobbish society and this would be another way to capitalize on it. I can imagine cafes charging outrageous sums for heated tap water, but then that's not too much of a stretch. No, my suprise is that more people haven't preserved this habit through the generations, that more people don't have a loving tradition of drinking hot water passed down from great great grandparents from whatever old country they used to call home. Because hot water is suprisingly good, unusually fulfilling, and something I have written this to recommend.

Perhaps you'd expect it to be, well, watery. Strangely enough, it isn't. If your water is pleasant and tastes good cool, chances are it will taste good hot. And I do mean taste!

Chilling dulls flavors, making them difficult for us to perceive. Heating (within reason) does the opposite. So perhaps it isn't strange that hot water has a hint of savor to it, a strange echo on the palate caused by the particular composition of the particular cup of water, and often the perception of a sweet aftertaste arising from the reality of a clean mouth.

However, there's more to it. If flavor were everything, then the liquid desserts that Starbucks panders would easily be more satisfying. No, there is an aesthetic quality to inhaling the steam and drinking hot water that is strangely soothing; especially if you are chilled and thirsty, tired and yet unable to rest. The flavor, in its subtlety, satisfies without requiring attention or response. It wants nothing from you, and gives everything. It leaves no residue, adds no layers. It strips away accumulations like a soothing bath internalized, and leaves in their wake not emptiness but warmth.

You may not choose to try a cup of hot water the next time you run in from a rain storm, stripping off your wet socks and running a towel through your hair. A good hearty soup is perhaps best then. But, if you're feeling exhausted and dyspeptic, perhaps a little grubby, with cold hands and feet, try a mug of hot water. If the cup is plastic, make sure it doesn't have any residual odors from past coffee, etc., then fill it up and

sip,

sip,

sip,

sip.


I would like to know if you or your family has made a habit of drinking hot water. Sort of an informal survey; please msg me!

montecarlo says re Hot Water: A very nice writeup, it inspired me! See Silver tea.
momomom says re Hot Water: I have on occasion and will do so more often now.
a scar faery says re Hot Water: A thought: hard or soft water? (For some reason my grandmother advocated brushing our teeth with warm (/hot -- whatever came out of the tap that wasn't cold) water, but not drinking it; I've a vague memory of other families doing it, though.) - I don't think hard or soft matters that much as long as the water tastes good cold. Hard water, I should think, would have a stronger mineral flavor of course. My family has well water which is softened in a cylinder in the basement before it's pumped to the rest of the house. Nonetheless, it still has many dissolved salts in it. It is lovely water, hot.
smartalix says I've always thought of hot water as the poor man's tea. I've seen it done, but always by old people from hardscrapple societies.
lemur says my mother drinks silverte!
Chiisuta says re Hot Water: I spend most of my day drinking hot water. I used to drink plain tea, but it's a diuretic. I need something warm because I'm easily chilled that will aso hydrate me. It's an easy way to get my recommended 8 glasses and keep warm at the same time.
Heisenberg says re Hot Water: My significant other loves hot water.
interrobang says re Hot Water: everyone here drinks water hot, it's served undrinkably hot at meals in the dining hall, and all the restaurants I've been to have served warm to hot water. There's pretty much no cold (drinkable) water to speak of. -- I'd forgotten about that. Indeed, when I visited China in '88, you couldn't get cold water anywhere. Certainly not chilled tap water. Everything was ''plain boiled water,'' even if it was room temperature, the water was boiled first. It was a particularly hot summer that year, which might account for getting it room temperature. Every hotel provided thermos bottles of hot water, as well. In Taiwan, thermostat controlled plunger pots are extremely popular. There, it is and was easier to get chilled water, but the prevalence of plain, boiled water still prevails.

Who knew! Old maid's tea. Although, I must say that adding stuff sounds nasty. The flavor of the water is so understated that adding sugar or milk would just make, well, it taste, um, watery! Ironic, isn't it.

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