The shower stall… I’ve seen this innocent looking contraption come up with many devious ways of tormenting the tired, road weary traveller. Here’s a few ways I’ve personally been mocked by showers on the road.
Running Out Of Hot Water
This is perhaps the most common way showers take pleasure in taunting tired, sore-muscled and dusty travellers (or anyone for that matter that just wants to shower away the days dirt). After jumping in you’re thrilled that there’s hot water when suddenly and without warning it mysteriously runs cold.
Jumping back in an attempt to wait for the hot water you quickly realize that your teeth have began to chatter and your feet are turning a lovely shade of blue. To get this shower over with quickly you start splashing the water onto yourself hoping that the warmer air will magically heat it a bit before it comes in contact with your skin. The result is usually a shivering, goose-bumped, half clean person… and I suspect, a silently giggling shower.
This shower is particularly tricky because it will somehow be perfectly warm for the next person… for the first minute or so.
Running Out Of Cold Water
A less common tactic but the more sinister showers will suddenly stop serving up any water other than scalding hot. Jumping back screaming you desperately turn the taps.. one has to be cold right?!?
Running Out Of Water
Somewhat rare, but this surprise tactic will only happen as you’ve massaged your shampoo into a sweet scented bubbly heaven… suddenly you hear strange sounds coming from the pipes. Realizing something is wrong you try desperately to rinse before the water goes boiling hot / ice cold only to have it stop completely… not even a trickle. The shower in this case will often wait until in your desperation to de-lather at light speed you’ve got shampoo in your eyes. Sadly the sink has also gone over to the dark side and won’t help by offering up any water either. If you start eyeing the water in the toilet, you’re on your own…
The Rebellious Drain
In this tag team match the shower will often blissfully pour forth a strong, steady stream of perfectly heated water. Only after you have shampoo lathered and are fully soaped up do you notice that not only is the water is pooling at your feet, it is dangerously close to overflowing and flooding the next room. Realizing your backpack was left on the floor and not wanting to get kicked to the street in the middle of the night for flooding your room, you turn off the water and wait…. and wait… and wait some more.
Shivering with cold, feeling vulnerable and naked you can do nothing but wait a bit longer. Eventually realizing that the drain is truly plugged you have 3 options; reach into the dark, murky water to try to find the drain and attempt to unblock it… sprint naked to the next shower (if available) and hope no one sees you… or accept your fate and dry off hoping to remove enough soap with the towel that your skin won’t itch for days.
The Shower Doors…
Some places may have sliding doors to protect your room (and backpack) from taking a shower with you. The beauty of this is you won’t encounter the ‘affectionate shower curtain’ in this upscale establishment… as you step inside the steaming stream flowing from overhead you reach to close the door.. tug… tug…. push… jiggle… grunt…. Puuuuuuush *gasp* then suddenly.. SLAM… Victory!
You shower in bliss thinking how lucky it was that you could close that door before flooding the floor. As soon as you’re done showering you fling open… pull… tug… *foot on wall for leverage* Puuuuulllll… *pant, pant* Puuullllll… SLAM OPEN the door.
If you’re lucky, you didn’t land on your behind only to have to wonder whether it’s worth attempting to close that door again to wash off questionable hostel shower floor water from your newly dirtied skin… after all, you escaped without having to call for help… (*dun dun dunnnnn*) this time.
The Affectionate Shower Curtain
Many travellers and even non-nomadic home dwellers have had unwanted advances from the slimy shower curtain, some blame the breeze the water causes but I suspect these filthy curtains have only one thing on their minds. They can often be spotted by that mysterious film of slime and mildew that only shower curtains seem to possess. When you encounter one of these, even tactical placement of a foot, elbow or shampoo bottle is rarely enough to hold back the assault of cold, slimy plastic flapping against you, thwarting your every attempt to get clean.
Other mischievous tactics some showers take are mis-labelled, unlabelled or confusingly labelled taps (I encountered one that had a green dot on one tap, yellow on the other) and the ever popular ’shower head aimed far too high’ or at tummy level, while it probably is funny to watch us try to figure out how to use these showers it is a bit mean to pick on us.
So shower stalls of all colours, shapes and sizes… I beg you, please stop this war on us poor unwashed masses, peaceful coexistence is possible.