“I can live in an adobe house with dirt floors without electricity and get mite infections every few months, but I cannot live without hot showers,” I remember telling Roy back in the day.
I’m notorious for taking extremely hot showers that I come out with my back scalded red. I even enjoy hot (not warm) showers in the Philippines when it’s over 30 degrees out and humid. I know: hot showers in hot weather don’t make much sense, but hot showers in cold weather is a given, right? Not! Here in the Central Andes where the temperature is usually below 5 degrees every evening, people typically take freezing cold mountain water showers! How?!Suffice to say, my parents knew that a gift I would most value in Peru is a hot water heater. This worked perfectly for Roy and my first apartment. And even with the water heater, I would additionally turn on our electric heater in the room, so I wouldn’t freeze to death coming out of the shower.
Unfortunately, my best friends, the water heater and electric heater, couldn’t live with us in our new apartment. We can’t install the water heater because we’re not allowed to make holes in the walls to mount it and we can’t plug in the electric heater because it uses too much electricity (being part of our rent here, our landlord is always on our backs about anything that uses up too much electricity).
The solution? I have been taking baths out of a bucket for the past couple of months. This involves boiling water in an electric kettle and mixing it with the cold shower water in a bucket. Then, I scoop and pour the warm water with the plastic lid of my thermos. The trick is to bathe as quickly as possible. =P
What’s a luxury you can’t live without? Better yet, what’s a luxury you got over and no longer really need?