Saturday, February 1, 2014

Let's talk bathrooms and showering

Some of the more *major* adjustments I've had to make while living in Cochabamba have centered around the area of the bathroom.  Let's first start with using the toilet.  The biggest difference has been *not* throwing the toilet paper in the toilet.  I think that those of you who have experienced this other places may agree that in the beginning it is VERY hard to break yourself of the habit of immediately placing the toilet paper in the toilet after use.  However, I am glad to say that finally after about a month here, I am now in the habit of throwing said used toilet paper in the small garbage can usually located directly next to the toilet.  See picture below:


You can just see the top of the garbage can in this picture.  I actually prefer this type of toilet-paper garbage because you don't have to use a hand to open it--you can just push the little swinging lid and drop your paper right in!

Now on to showers!  First, a picture:

 (Before I go on to explain the shower head, please note the fairly large spider chilling in the ceiling--he/she keeps me company almost every single shower.  I still haven't figured out where he/she goes the times I end up how showering alone...)

Ok.  And we're back.  The white shower head is what is called a "suicide shower."  This is a great little contraption heats the water just before it comes out--changing it from a very cold, VERY uncomfortable temperature to a pleasantly warm shower temperature! And how do I know what the temperature is before it's magically transformed?  Well, like most things in life, each suicide shower head is a bit different and needs a fair amount of trial and error before consistantly working well.  MY very unique/special shower head for instance works opposite than most of the "normal" suicide shower heads...  With most suicide shower heads, the less amount of water pressure going through the shower head, the warmer the water.  NOT in my case.  In order for the water to warm up at all, I need to have the water pressure going at least at medium strength, any lower and the "warming" feature doesn't kick in.  This very imporant fact now works greatly to my advantage since not only do I now have warm showers, but my water pressure is INCREDIBLE compared to most of the other suicide showers I have heard about.  However, before I figured out this little *glitch* I took many a cold (read frigid, freezing, tear-provoking, etc) shower after listening to well-intentioned advice that I just needed to drop the water pressure even lower in order to allow the water time to heat up before trickling down onto my head...  Luckily, those showers are now faint (horrific) memories of the past :)  And how do I know when the water has crossed over the pressure threshold and this warming feature has kicked in?  By a flicker of the light of course :)


The above "naked" light bulb located in the middle of the bathroom ceiling is my savior every time I shower.  Although it's shining nice and bright in this picture, it drops down to a beautiful dull glow the very second the warming feature starts its work on turning my shower water into the stuff of dreams :)  This change in lighting is the only indication I have that my shower water will in fact not feel glacial and make me gasp for air when I venture to step under it.

And finally, a few last bathroom details :)  

Below is a picture showing the different water knobs for the shower--don't be fooled though, only the one of the right works!  The other one (ie the one to turn on "hot" water) is just for show :)  This is also true for the knob in the middle, which I think is technically for changing the location of where the water comes out of (sorry for the dangling preposition mother...), ie the bathtub faucet or the shower head.  I don't think there's actually a way to get the water to come out of the faucet part.


And lastly, here's a picture of my sick, located at the edge of the bathtub/shower (please also notice the lack of any shower curtain--I've only seen shower curtains in a couple bathrooms, they don't seem to be very popular here).  

And there you have it!  As you can see, I've got everything that I need! The only crucial item missing from these pictures is my water bottle filled with potable water.  The water in Cochabamba is unsafe to drink, so I bring water with me to use while brushing my teeth each morning and evening--a very small price to pay in order to keep my belly free of amoebas and other nonsense!

1 comment:

  1. looking pretty spiffy, miss reichelderfer! i feel you on the new teeth-brushing habits. good for you on transitioning well to your new bathroom life. :)