I had gotten so wrapped up in the less-than-ideal pressure of electric showers in cold wintry bathrooms, that I’d forgotten how good I had it. Then I moved into my new home and was thrilled to discover that I now will really have it very good. But I somehow forgot just how much better the water pressure in the northern lands is, compared to the water pressure in a certain desert capital in Africa.
My first shower here was taken dipping my head under the tap to catch a few drops to splash around, just enough to feel clean. My second shower was taken in a rush to enjoy the few moments of water flow I had. Another shower was delayed from evening until the next morning because I just didn’t see any point in taking another half-hearted shower.
Last night, the electricity went out in the part of the building that holds the water pump. We had no water at all. And so I resorted to the bin full of water that we maintain in our bathroom. Keeping a bin of water on hand is just one of those things you do here if you’re smart.
I know I’m incredibly privileged here. Most people don’t have running water at all, depending entirely on buckets of water, sometimes toted long distances just for a quick bath. And in a hot dusty land, I should be beyond relieved that I can count on a daily (or almost-daily) bathe.
Not only that, but we have a hot-water heater. It only holds about a gallon of water, but in this climate even lukewarm water is enough to keep the edge off. But not many people living in this city have even that. And while the weather is hot, it’s not sweltering at this time of year so there’s really nothing refreshing about a cold shower.
And all this has come to me as a realisation that I should be grateful, incredibly grateful, for what I have. Even in drafty unheated bathrooms, the hot water and strong water pressure I can count on in England is a luxury indeed!