Monday, February 25, 2008

On Showers, at home and abroad

Ahhh... the first shower home.
You know what I'm talking about: no matter how imperfect your bathroom conditions may be, at least when you step under the head you know what you're getting into.
Other people's showers, now that's a different story.
Most recently, I experienced this crapshoot of a hygienic undertaking at my boyfriends' house in Connecticut.
I should clarify: the home of my boyfriends' parents, where he once ran around naked but where now, at least during my visit, naked activities would be limited.
But I have digressed.
Before I go on I should say that the home is beautiful, the visit was enchanting, the parents warm and kind.
And the first shower was great -- hot, pressure-filled, quiet. Perhaps my standards were low after my nightmare of a bus trip from Ottawa, but that's how I remember it.
But on my second day, I found that the lever to direct water to the shower head barely did it's work, with a good half of the water still streaming below. After numerous fiddlings, and a deep squealing of (what I imagine was) water through the pipes, I gave up. I settled for some cool water splashed on my face and stepped out.
At times like this I like to imagine how much worse others must have it.
Like my friend George Swinimer, who occasionally writes extended group emails from his posts in various African countries. He once painted a picture of a bucket bath, his six-foot-plus body squished into a laundry tub, pitching jars of lukewarm water over his head as local kids peered through the window, pointing and laughing...
And at the place I lived in for four months on Molokai, I liked to imagine--at least while in the bathroom, leaky toilet and all--that I was in a third world country. In a developing country you wouldn't complain about getting your feet dirty upon exiting the shower; as an intern in the Aloha State you might. But development, ie. tourism, hasn't quite hit Molokai. Thank God.
And so we go...overseas to broaden our horizons, and open our minds to new ideas about shower quality.
Who knew I'd get this kind of exposure in small-town Connecticut!
And gain a new appreciation for my own shower, to boot.
Endnote: It turned out there was something 'up' with the shower pressure, and I was invited to use the other shower. Two showers! Wow. and I wasn't even instructed to keep the exhaust fan on. don't even get me started on that one...

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