I am settling into life in Bangkok – which has taken a bit longer than it usually does due to the cold I picked up on the plane. I have now successfully passed it on to everyone in the house including my son who is himself travelling overseas next week. The daughter-in-law is taking the day off work and has a box of tissues close at hand – though I’m convinced her cold is a different version to mine which had no snot at all. Of course I feel dreadful – no wait – that was last week when I wasn’t getting a lot of sympathy. Now I’m feeling quite perky and have plans – very few of which can be put into place due to the ailing nature of the other participants. Colds sux.
In the absence of large challenges, I am celebrating the small ones. Like conquering the shower. We are on the 7th floor of the building and for some unknown reason the shower has windows. Not right down to the floor windows, but discreet, head-height ones, with screens to block the bugs. At 3am when you get up to pee, you can veer into the shower and look down on the street workers on the neighbouring Soi (street) going about their business outside the Pink Pvssy. The other thing this shower has, is a new tap. The old one was fine but obviously someone in Maintenance thought it needed an upgrade and went out and bought a new tap. What is often overlooked here is the things that can wrong when people with only on-the -job training are let loose on pipes and electric wiring. The first time I used Shower Ver 2.1 I was warned that there was a fine line between freezing and very hot. Pff, I thought, I’m old enough to remember when showers were invented, I can handle fine lines. I proceeded with confidence and turned it on. Immediately the gurgly thing on the wall gurgled and water flowed. Yay! I thought, until I realized it I’d been waiting for 5 minutes and the water was still cold. Unlike New Zealand where standing around buck naked is an invitation to die of hypothermia, the air temperature here is at least 30 degrees but I don’t fancy going directly from that to cold water so I wait. There is another, louder gurgle, and yipee the water is warm. Then hot, then so damned hot I’m dancing all over the shower stall trying to avoid getting burnt. But I’m not one to be beaten by something as ordinary as a damned shower and over the past week I can confidently say, I now have it mastered. First I set the tap to the desired temperature then using a little of the cold water, I soap up. At the first suggestion of warmth I dive under, scrubbing furiously because I know setting the temperature is just a mind you-know-what, (it starts with an “f” if you’re struggling), and there is no way in hell the water will stop heating up. And it doesn’t. Like an involuntarily vomit it must proceed to its inevitable conclusion, but by then, I’m out dancing on the bubble mat, grinning and congratulating myself as the water reverts to cold and steam rises from the tiles on the floor. I can even get my hair washed if I do it in two revolutions.
There is one thing I can’t get my head around. How come I won’t go under a cold shower with no clothes on yet I put on a bathing suit and can step straight into a fathomless pool? Go figure.