In China, when a guest comes to someones home/office etc., the host offers fresh water (usually boiled/warm). It's an honorable thing to do to make them feel welcome on YOUR grounds. Since it is so important in this culture, every house has a water tank which can be refilled. I was quite surprised to see this water refill machine in a small deprived shanty town on the outskirts of Shenzhen- not a place you'd expect something like this to be placed in. It's not expensive though. For 1 RMB (about US 20 Cents) you can fill one tank (about 2 gallons).
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