I love long, hot showers. Decadent steamy showers, 20 or even 30 minutes long, with too much sudsy soap. I don’t think about all the energy wasted; the gas bill can go to hell. Showertime.
There is no hot water in this dorm.
The first day was impossible. I stood there with soap in my hand feeling shivery and miserable, then turned on the water, which was a sad trickly stream, and did some crazed half-in, half-out dance. After about thirty seconds, I bailed. On day two, small progress. I realized you can do a lot without the water actually on, and you can turn it on for rinsing purposes. So I conquered a tiny bit of shampooing in addition to the world’s fastest soap-up, and rinsed under the sad trickly stream of coldness.
Day three, though — a breakthrough. I finally asked one of the girls about a burning (ha) question. In each of the shower stalls, there’s what looks like a plastic saucepan hanging on a hook. I learned: The shower head is broken. Fill up the pan with water from the faucet-style tap in the stall and rinse that way.
The first pan of cold water that I sluiced over my head felt truly miserable. Same for the second and third. But by the fourth, I’d mastered a slow, less-panicky pouring motion, and it began to dawn on me that this was not a shower. In a good way. Yeah, I was naked and sudsing shampoo around in the vicinity of water. But I’d been thinking of this as “a cold shower” — aka, a terrible version of something I really like. Instead this more closely resembled (drum roll)….a swimming pool in tiny doses.
This discovery made me laugh — which probably sounded very strange to anyone else in the bathroom. But I feel cleaner than I have in days.