Thursday, March 24, 2011

Getting used to it

When people say you can get used to anything it’s a lie. I know it’s a lie because after 6 months of living in Uganda I still suck my breath into the back of my throat and do a little jig when I turn on the shower. It’s not that I am super happy to be getting clean once more, or indeed a leprechaun, it’s because my shower is bloody freezing. 

This isn’t a rejection of namby pamby luxury features or a misguided attempt at ‘when in Rome…’ Believe me, if I could fix a hot shower I would, but the water comes straight from the ground (where seemingly the temperature is about 2 degrees) and out of my shower head. Maybe this is how all showers work, I’m no plumber, but somehow some showers have the lovely facility of heating the water before it comes into contact with my skin. We don’t even have a water storage tank that might allow the water to get a little bit heated up by the sun’s rays before it cascades out of the head.

There have been times when I’ve contemplated putting water in black bags to let the sun heat them, and then pouring them over myself. The trouble with that though is that the water gets that plastic-y smell. If you don’t know what I mean leave a bottle of water in the sun for a couple of hours and then have a sniff inside, you’ll see.
So the fact remains that each day I approach the shower with a slight sense of dread, some days are better than others. Chilly, misty mornings are by far the worst when your body ends up steaming because it is so hot in comparison to the water you are bathing in. Still, I’m probably helping the environment. Firstly I’m not using any power to heat the water up and secondly gone are the days of long, luxurious showers. No, no, it’s now a case of get in – wet –lather –rinse- jump out.

Of course I endure my shower, after all I understand the importance of hygiene… and frankly I don’t want to smell like an old sock that has been rubbed in cheese and left in the sun to ferment for a week. But for me, endurance is not quite the same thing as ‘getting used to it’!

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