In Hot Water
I'm in hot water. That's the good news.
The bad news is, so is the rest of the bathroom. The shower at my nameless (for reasons I'll explain later) five-star hotel is spewing water through the cracks around the shower door, and all over the elegant marble bathroom floor.
It shouldn't be this way, but it is. And forever it will be.
I've been keeping a list of faulty showers for a number of years now. It spans more than a dozen countries, all levels of accommodation (that's why I won't mention the name of this hotel), all price ranges, and all types of failures. Leaks are just the most common.
There are the showers that are shorter than I am.
And the shower heads that never point where you want them to.
The shower floor that is imperceptibly higher than the bathroom floor, so that you jam your heel into it when you step in.
The clogging drains.
The moldy curtains that keep wrapping around my body.
Water pressure that can't wet a newspaper.
The ever-popular roller coaster temperature rides.
And showers that react to every toilet flush or sink operation.
Apparently, the first thing I do every morning is the last thing on the mind of a hotel designer.
My daily ritual is just an annoyance to an architect.
I don't believe in conspiracies, but you have to wonder what's going on here.
A worldwide shortage of shower components?
Or do architects take dust baths?
So now I'm on a search for the Holy Grail of world travel - The No Hassle Shower.
I'm not looking for $100 towels, toilet TV's, sunset views, or gourmet soaps.
I just want life's simple pleasures.
Here's a list of all the things that should be in my perfect shower:
-Consistent hot water that lasts at least ten minutes, anytime of day or night, and is not related to the toilet or sink (Quickest way to ruin your wife's morning - flush a toilet that drains all the cold water from the shower line).
-Consistent (strong) water pressure, that is also not related to the toilet or sink.
-One knob control. I do not like to play Mr. Chemist at 6am, "a dab of hot water, a little cold, then back off the hot".
-A shower floor that is at the same height as the bathroom floor (or else so much lower that it's obvious).
-Good ventilation. I want a shower, not a sauna.
-A one piece assembly. If I see plants, they should be in pots, not between the bathroom tiles.
-A door, not a curtain. There's nothing worse than having a cold, moldy shower curtain stick to your butt in the morning.
-A shower head that is high enough to spray water on my head.
-A good drain. Bathtub ring is a poor substitute for an ankle tattoo.
-Potable water. It's hard to enjoy a shower when I'm repeating my Thailand shower mantra, "Keep mouth closed. Keep mouth closed."
Of course we could get extravagant and:
-Install a waterproof recliner.
-Add a submersible Bose sound system.
-Hire Cindy Crawford as a human loufah.
Yeah, well, I'm as likely to get those as I am any of the requests above.
So, join me, fellow travelers, and answer the call.
Have you seen this shower?