DRINKING water was once given freely in restaurants. It was as much a part of the service as condiments, napkins and basic sauces. The advent of expensive designer bottled water has changed all that. “Still or sparkling” is now the first question you’ll hear in restaurants. The answer then becomes an invitation for the staff to open bottle after bottle, not at your will, but theirs. Costing as much as 300 baht a time, they add considerable weight to the final bill. In some restaurants, once a customer has said no to bottled water, ordinary drinking water is served, free. And that’s the way it should be.