Monday, 24 September 2007

Hot showers...

Just had a fascinating conversation over dinner...solar powered hot water was on the news and J mentioned to his folks that most houses in Australia have hot water. Although I can't be 100% sure that 100% of houses in oz have hot water, I'm gonna assume that it's so...anyhoo, his parents were amazed! Like really fascinated that every house has hot water showers. Then it occurred to me that they have NEVER had a hot shower...in 65 years of existence, they've never experienced the divineness of a really hot shower on a chilly morning! (ignoring the fact that chilly mornings are a rarity here). I kinda felt sorry for them that they haven't experienced such a great invention...but then I just ended up feeling sorry for myself that I haven't had a hot shower in 6 months (when I was in oz)... and that I'm not likely to have another hot shower until the next time I go to oz, or the next time I go to Bangkok (hotels!)...both of which are more than 6 months away....sigh....woe is me in my showerless world.

To elaborate, J's parents "shower" in our back yard at the well. Actually day time showers are at the well, night time showers are in the bathroom. They draw water by throwing a bucket on a rope down the well and scooping it out 5 or 6 or however many times and pour it over themselves. This water is good enough to drink..it's just the publicness of it all (yes I'm evidently a prude!). You could see them from the main road if you were looking in the right direction. People can come visiting and just walk up to you showering! They do keep their sarongs on though, so it's not indecent exposure.

Here's a photo (from thaiworldview.com) of a typical Thai bathroom...I can't bring myself to photograph our bathroom because I have unresolved issues about it, but that's a whole hours therapy so let's not go there....but it's basically the same set up...big tub like thing filled with water that you scoop out and pour on yourself to bathe. 90% of the time this arrangement is fine with me because most of the time it's over 30 degrees by 8 am in the morning. It does however bother me for about 2 months of the year when it does start to get a bit chilly in the evenings and mornings! I have been known to boil a huge pot of water and surreptitiously sneak it into the bathroom...works bloody marvelously and the pure joy I get from it has me smiling like a loon as I shower!

This is what a hot water heater looks like in Thailand...an electric box mounted on the shower wall...that's water + electricity...Thailand electricity...which is usually not grounded! I'm happy sticking to my non-zap cold tip showers for now...I will be fantasising about hot water for an indefinite amount of time however!

6 commentaramas:

Carol and Chris said...

I don't know what I would do without my shower - I absolutely love it!!

I do remember going for a spa once on Soi 11 - when it was shower time she opened a door and I discovered, to my horror, that it was an outside shower and all anyone walking along the soi had to do was look up and they would have seen me!!(I probably gave some poor Thai nightmares for weeks!!)

C x

Sangy said...

The little picture that you posted of how a hot shower llok like, is the same here in Malaysia. But, I believe it's properly grounded here. To be honest though, I grew up getting used to cold showers. So do most other peoples though. It's a culture thing. But as and when we needed (my family and I) a hot shower, out comes the kettle. Just like how you did it. More fun, I suppose.

Bec said...

first vist to my mother in laws when me & fella were dating & we bought them a hot shower as, like your in laws, they hadn't had a hot shower before. They ohhed & ahhed over it & seemed quite excited so hubby wired it up & 6 years later we are the only ones who use it!!! I have no idea why they dont' use it as in Khon Kaen between November & March it is really really cold & people wear long sleeves & jumpers & the water is like ice so I know, a hot shower is a blessing. But I suppose you can't change 70 years of routine?

Amy said...

I was grateful for my hot water heater in my shower when I lived in Thailand. Even if I used the AC (which was every night)I still wanted to have a hot shower. What I missed was a nice hot bath.

When we moved back to the US, we made sure our apartment had a bathroom with a tub in it (which is also practical for having a baby that needs washing) and so if my hair doesn't need a shampoo, I take a bath! :)

Mel said...

Oh, rub it in why don't you all! Even though it's so hot here I still enjoy hot showers in the morn! Sigh..

I think if we installed a water heater here the folks would use it once and never again..not really open to change!

twocam said...

Maybe get your family to send you one of those camp showers, they are less than $20 at a disposals shop in Oz. . They are a canvas bag that holds about five litres of water. You hang up the full bag in the sun for the day and then have a nice warm shower at night.