Friday, October 3, 2008


Long Cold Showers

The complexities of cross-cultural living can sometimes leave the brain just a little befuddled and even the simplest of tasks can appear difficult.

The taps on the shower in our hotel room have no indication as to which side is 'hot' and which is 'cold'. In our safety conscious homeland this would be unthinkable - after all, what if someone got confused and scalded themselves ... and then sued?

We turned the tap to the left, and the water came out freezing cold. We turned it to the right, and it started to get warm, and after a few minutes it became lukewarm, bearable for a shower. We found that our newly-arrived colleagues next door were having the same problem, and we considered complaining to the management.

Although the weather is very warm, stepping from a barely warm shower into the air-conditioning can have quite a chilling effect. So yesterday when the weather was a tad cooler, I had a long, cool shower after waiting in vain for it to reach lukewarm. Peter couldn't face it, and so he brought a bowlful of scalding hot water from the tap in the kitchen to pour over himself. As this water was a bit too hot, he turned the shower to the left ('cold') to top it up with cold water. After a few seconds he found scalding hot water coming out of the 'cold' tap ...


(The water from the cold tap was heated by the sun on the pipes. The hot water came through cold pipes from the hot water system.)

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