For want of a shower

13 Jun

They are currently renovating the penthouse unit in my building, and have been for ages. I’m pretty sure China has built 100 skyscrapers from scratch in the time it’s taking them to renovate this one flat. Almost every day they’re pounding, drilling or freaking me out when I wake up to see a giant crane carrying supplies up past my bedroom window, but the worst is when they turn off the water. They did this on Monday, but they sent a formal letter warning us about it. It was inconvenient, but I worked around it.

Then today I got back from my run (week 4 of C25K — I can run for 5 minutes straight now! It’s amazing!) and wanted nothing more than a refreshing shower. The water came out slowly and got increasingly hotter no matter how far I turned it to “cold.”

Taking a cold shower is the worst, but I can assure you that a scalding hot one is no picnic either. Eventually the hot water reduced to a trickle and I knew I was in trouble. I called reception to ask if they had turned the water off again because of the renovations. The porter didn’t think so, but told me to call back if it wasn’t back on in a half hour.

What was I supposed to do for a half hour?! My hair was soaked with a mixture of water and sweat and I wasn’t sure if I should put on my dirty clothes or clean ones. I had to decide quickly because the doorbell rang. The porter brought two workmen to look at my bathroom. They stood with their dirty boots on my nice clean bathroom rug and fussed with the faucet (I’m sorry, “tap.”)

“It’s warm in here, did you take a shower?” one of them asked. I stood there with my wet hair trying not to laugh. “I tried to…”

They sent one of the guys upstairs to tinker with pipes while he spoke to the guy in my bathroom on the phone. Soon the water came blasting on, and I was filled with relief. Then they shut it off again. “Now we know what the problem is, so we’ll try to have your water back soon,” one of them said.

I should have asked them to define “soon.” Because silly me guessed 5 to 10 minutes. I tried to get some work done, but all I could think about was a shower. After an hour went by I called down to reception again. “They’re working on it, it won’t be much longer,” the porter told me. So I made lunch. Another hour went by. And another. Eventually I said screw it, put my hair up in a bun, and took a “redneck shower,” which I’m told just involves reapplying deodorant and some body spray. I was tempted to go full Honey Boo Boo and wash my hair in the kitchen sink (where we still had running water), but that would be too much.

honey boo boo kitchen sink
Eventually they turned the water back on FOUR hours later, right as I was about to skype with my mom. It’s funny, I wanted that shower so badly I almost resorted to using the kitchen sink, but eventually I got over it and accepted that it just wasn’t going to happen today. In a way, it’s like running — once you accept that crapping out (like showering) is not an option, you can power through. And now I have incentive to power through tomorrow’s run because hopefully it will finally end in a shower (*knock on wood*)


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