Showers of the World
by Kathleen Fitzpatrick — Modern Language Association
June 22, 2012 – 10:14
I’ve been on the road for a little over two weeks now, across three countries and nine time zones, and while I have a host of more serious topics for discussion originating from this trip, the one that’s most concerning me at the moment is the extraordinary variety in the ways the world has for devising showers that go wrong.
There was the one in Germany whose (mobile) shower head kept graaaaaadually turning to the right. Reach up and nudge it back left. Find yourself standing pressed up against the glass partition again just a few moments later.
There was the one in Portugal that was subject to what must have been 40 or 50 degree variations in water temperature, with no warning whatsoever. One moment you’re enjoying a nice temperate rinse. The next you’re scalded. Ten seconds later, freezing.
There was the one in Nashville whose water pressure was on the cusp of giving up the ghost. The sense of standing under a half-full watering can was all too vivid, especially as pressure changes in the building would result every so often in that already weak flow dwindling almost to a stop.
But the one that takes the cake for me — perhaps only because I’ve just gotten out of it — is the one here in Los Angeles, whose (non-mobile) shower head is mounted at eye-level. My eye-level, and I am not a tall person. Rinsing the shampoo out of my hair required a tiny bit of limbo action.
I’m happy that those last two were here in the U.S., so that this isn’t just some ugly Americanism I’m beset by. I suppose it’s probably not much better that it’s just a sign of how spoiled I’ve gotten by the apartments I’ve gotten to live in for the last several years.
But I will note that this does all have me wondering what I might possibly find in Prague…