Monday, October 8, 2012

Culture Blurb: The Bucket Shower

Bucket showers have become a normalcy. It is an activity that no longer phases me – which is why it has taken me so long to write about it – but something that I should touch upon nonetheless because it is most definitely a unique experience.
There are two options for a shower. One is a cold – and I mean cold – shower. It is a simple procedure – turn the faucet and the water comes out. Familiar, right? These showers are generally unpleasant and I only take them after I work out (which has become a far-from-daily activity).
Option two is the bucket shower. Fill the kettle with tap water and boil it. The procedure takes about 15 or 20 minutes. Then pour the boiling water into a large bucket in the shower room. The water will only thinly cover the bottom of the bucket. Turn on the water faucet and fill the bucket about half way with cold water. The kettle water is usually so scalding that this ratio will result in warm shower water. The penultimate step is to fetch a cup with which you will scoop the water. Finally close the door, strip down, and shower.
I have found that it is best to be quite miserly with the water; a half of a bucket can be slim supply for rinsing soap, shampoo, conditioner, and sometimes shaving cream.
The first time I bucket showered I kind of enjoyed it. The smooth fountain of water running down my face made me sputter as it spilt over my nose and lips and shiver when it left the feeling of heat upon my arms. It was like a game and where I was both the mama and the bathing baby. Now, a month in, bucket showering is just okay. I am past the honeymoon phase; every shower is no longer an adventure. I never feel fully clean after, but I feel exponentially cleaner than I did upon entering. I's say that the shower and I have reached a stage of humble recognition:
Shower: Look, you probably won’t walk away dirt-free, and the chances of there being little unidentifiable black specs in my water are rather high, but I’m here for you anyway.
Me: I appreciate that. I’ll use you when the need grows great, however I won’t revere the time I spend in your corridors as I do with my shower at home.
Shower: Alright then.
Me: Well, okay.

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