Friday, January 21, 2005

08. A Lifetime of Cold Showers

Some mornings, while I'm still lying in bed, the breeze through the palm trees sounds just like rain, and on these occasions, it's enough to get me up and peek outside, but I've so far been disappointed every time to find that just another bright, cloudless day in India. In the three hot, sunny weeks that I've been in this country, I've seen clouds just two times, and the only falling water has come from the shower spigot, not the sky. Just like the rain, though, the water that comes out of the shower is seldom anything other than cold.

It has been nearly three weeks since I've had a shower with any degree of warmth. It's not that warm showers don't exist--they do: they're called Geysers, and they come in the form of a tank on the wall, which heats the water, and must be turned on well in advance of the actual act of showering if you want the shower to be more than lukewarm. Likewise, whereas they do exist, not that many people have them, as they are largely the territory of those who have money. If you are without one of these contraptions, your option is basically to heat a bucket of water, and as you're pouring it over your head, pretend that it's coming out of the wall.

My last warm shower (I never remember to turn the Geyser on with enough advance notice to warrant a hot shower) was in Bombay, where we stayed at Jecca's cousin's wife's parents' flat that was the Bombay-equivalent to a Park Avenue condo, overlooking the city's main green space, the Cricket Oval. In addition to being two of the most impressive people that I have met in India, or otherwise, these people were definitely not wont for money or hot water heaters, and even they had to throw a switch in the wall in advance of showering if they didn't want to spend the entire time shivering. I know that this way of heating showers is common in Europe, but the difference would seem to be that the people who don't have money don't have hot water, whereas I have been in some pretty crappy places in Europe, and some especially crappy garden-level (which is a euphemism for below-ground) flats, that certainly had hot water.

Regardless of whether this is good or bad (it is warm here; hot water for showering is not a necessity), the fact remains that, in absence of warm water, I am not only getting used to daily cold showers, I am starting to like cold showers. I'm beginning to understand the nuances of cold showers (for example: there are there are different ways to lead into a cold shower, and different ways to deal with the water once you have immersed yourself); the details that I always missed when I was busy thinking of cold as the lacking end of the shower spectrum, with all points above it differing by increasing units of warmth.

Of course, it also doesn't hurt that every morning, when I wake up and look out the door, it's always 90 degrees and sunny outside, without a cloud or a drop of rain in sight.

5 Comments:

Yo. I take cold showerz all the time. Not becauz I hafta turn on a heatr first, but cauz I gotsta chill whenevr I can. Also, itz just a fakt uv life that the ladies are forcin me to overheat at all junkshures. So U see, itz no joke, I'm alwayz lukin fer wayz to chillax an I just cant pass up the chilly shower when I git the chance. 

Posted by 5uckaF00

1/22/2005 10:59 PM  

I like your selective bolding. It makes me feel like I can skim the article first, get a notion of its general shape and content, then plunge in for a close reading. Kind of like the national enquirer. 

Posted by thelizabeth

1/26/2005 2:14 PM  

I do the opposite; I drop all bolded words from my reading and play Mad Libs.

Haircut! 

Posted by Arron

1/26/2005 8:14 PM  

I don't know where I picked up that habit, but I do know that I aim to please. In the future, though, if at all possible, I would prefer to be compared to US Weekly.

Haircut? 

Posted by NICK

1/27/2005 4:13 AM  

hey....its tooo good pics and that much nice words ...me an angel from gods own country 

Posted by dil

2/11/2005 3:36 AM  

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