This past weekend the water boiler in our rented home failed, and with the call to the maintenance emergency line going unanswered for some reason, we were without hot water for two solid days. Everything went on as normal, except for one situation: showers.
Perhaps it would’ve been fine in a city with much warmer climes, but San Francisco’s signature chill means that taking a cold water shower is a near impossibility. I mean, I certainly wasn’t up for it; not because I can’t handle the cold, but to get a proper clean and open the pores, hot water is a requirement.
So for those two days with the water boiler out of commission, it became a throwback to my early childhood in China. Our apartment back then did not have water boiling amenity at all: to draw hot water for our showers, we literally had to boil it on the kitchen stove. Once up to temperature, it gets mixed with cold water straight from the faucet and into a bucket, and then we showered by pouring the water over ourselves with a ladle.
Primitive stuff compared to what we are used to now, but it was no less effective. I was remind of that when I had to perform the same procedure this past weekend. The clean was the same, yet I’ve only managed to use around two gallons worth of water. There’s no doubt I use exponentially more water showering the “modern” way, because honestly who doesn’t linger the extra bit longer under the stream - it’s so comfortable and relaxing.
Maybe in our efforts to save the planet, I should return to showering the (asian) old fashion way. Certainly it won’t be a big deal should the water boiler go out again in the future. A working stove and kettle is all i need.