In the UK, when you ask for water in a restaurant or a bar, as standard, you will get still water. Almost everywhere else, particularly in Europe, the standard is fizzy water. I don’t know why this is, but I do know I’m not a big fan of fizzy water.
Years ago I did a German Exchange with my school, and when I arrived to my host familys’ appartment, there was a bottle of water on my desk. At this point my level of German was only basic, so my only way of knowing whether or not it was fizzy water was by shaking the bottle. It didn’t seem to fizz, but when I opened it and drank it, it was fizzy water. Ick.
A few years later, I went to Spain with my older sister. We had a trip to the supermarket just after we landed in Granada, and we spent ages trying to figure out which was the still water. At this point, her level of Spanish was basic, and I was studying it at University, so technically I should have known. I made the decision. We ended up with fizzy water. Ick.
Since then, I have accidentally bought fizzy water elsewhere too. With my track record of failing to buy still bottled water, it’s actually a miracle I’ve made it this long in South America. In Peru I bought the correct water (sin gas) and even in Brazil I managed to figure out what still water was (sem gas). And now in Argentina, I’ve managed for over three weeks buying still water (sin gas). I feel like I’m achieving something. I’ve finally mastered the art of buying still water!