The perils of bathing

We’ve mentioned the funky showers before in this blog, and yet I feel they merit more exploration due to our continuing exploits with the showers in Ireland in general.

The shower in the ensuite bath in the large bedroom of our lovely townhome is approximately the size of a phone booth.  Maybe.  The water is controlled by an electric shower machine, which makes a noise somewhat akin to an airplane engine warming up for takeoff.  You spin a dial to start the water flowing, then spin another dial to adjust the temperature.  This is always a crap shoot, as the machine basically decides what temp the water is going to be depending on … well, I don’t know.  The mood?  Outside temps?  Phase of the moon?  And of course there’s the nozzle spraying everywhere, the sliding glass door that doesn’t quite open all the way, and the fact that it’s impossible to reach down to wash feet.

However, the shower in the main bath is even more of an adventure.  While the tub has a lot more room, it is only protected by a half-door that swings outward in order to allow access, which only really serves to splash more water over more of the bath surfaces if you ask me.  The tub is incredibly deep and presents quite the challenge to short-legged people.  Heaven help the person who doesn’t have a bath mat on the floor, because you are going down, buddy.  This electric machine is a lot more fickle than the one in the phone booth.  Temperature regulation is virtually impossible, unless you like your showers scalding hot.  The shower head sprays everywhere, as usual, but you can’t point this one down toward the floor of the tub (like the phone booth one) because it slips out of the holder, hits the tub floor and then sprays literally every surface within a 5 foot radius.  However the big advantage to this shower is that there is room to leap out of the spray should the machine decide to regulate the temperature randomly.

Seeing as Claude rides his bike to work every day, he has to shower when he gets there.  The building has small (and I mean small) shower rooms in which to clean up.  There is no bench to sit on, no hooks to hang your clothes or towel upon, nothing but a stark little changing space and the shower stall.  It has an electric shower machine that is built in behind the wall and the temp offerings are cold and colder.  Sometimes he gets lucky and it becomes lukewarm, “but not often.”  He has figured out how to hang his bag & pants on the square-shaped light fixture inside the shower stall.  I frankly don’t know how he does it; I barely have the ability to tolerate the phone booth shower.

I understand that the Irish people have a hardiness to them, honed from years of living in harsh conditions and surviving famine and invasion and rule by empire.  But we’re talking modern age here, folks.  A building built in 2008 could conceivably have been built with a few more inches of shower space.  Electric shower machines could be built with more reliability of temperature regulation.  Benches could be installed in shower spaces for just that tiniest little touch of creature comfort.  ‘Path of least resistance’ need not be a lifestyle – but for the Irish it’s an attitude.

However, I am not complaining.  Based on the quality of homes I looked at while hunting for this place, I’m living at the Ritz!  Well, at least the water gets hot.

— Cindy


One response to “The perils of bathing

  1. Pingback: Notes from the journal: 12-Jul-2012, Paris, FR « Pastry Tour 2012

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