The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love...Kenya

The contents of this website are my own PERSONAL opinion. They do not reflect the opinions, policies, actions, feelings, or eating habits of the Peace Corps, the U.S. Government, any government, shadow governments, or anyone else, for that matter, but ME.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Best Thing Ever

During my morning shower, I have taken to looking up at that gloriously hot water flowing down and I say, “hot water, it is you I’ll miss most of all.” Don’t get me wrong, friends and family are important, but it is that hot shower that I will pine for on a daily basis. I am trying to savor every moment now, so I won’t have wasted these last few weeks when it is all gone.

I keep a very famous list (at least famous amongst my friends). I am a person who loves a searing hot shower. I hate baths and spas; give me one of those Silkwood nuclear blast showers any day. That being said, I keep a list of the best showers I have ever taken (all you pervs letting your minds wonder, call me). It usually takes some extraordinarily difficult circumstances to have a shower make the list. There are only 10 slots available on the list. Some have asked why I don’t expand the list to include all the great showers, but I don’t think that is fair to all the other showers. When I have a shower experience that I think is worthy of the list, I have to really sit and compare it to these, and that is some heavy competition. This is what discriminating taste is all about.

Number 1 - Still top of the list is the luke-warm beauty I took after a week of rafting the Kali Gahndaki in Nepal. Not only didn’t I get to bathe for that week, but I also had to endure my first bout of dysentery. That shower made me truly love the modern wonder of heated water flowing from a fixture. This is the shower that started the list

Number 2 - I nearly passed out taking this shower. It happened at an expensive (for me at least, $23 a night for goodness sakes) hotel in Quito, Ecuador after I had spent a month living in Santo Domingo doing a radio internship. The water was so scalding hot and I stayed in for so long (45 minutes) I nearly blacked out. I wrote my mom a three-page letter about this one. Oh, it was awesome.

Number 3 - One stifling July day some friends and I went out for a little 5-mile stroll on some trails at Mammoth Cave National Park. After some monstrously bad navigation by yours truly, we emerged back at the car suffering near heat stroke and dehydration because 5 miles turned into 11 miles. I wanted to move into the shower that evening, what a glory that hot water was!

Number 4 - I once spent 22 hours straight on a Mexican bus going from Tijuana to La Paz in Baja. Needless to say, the shower that cleaned that layer of funk off me was simply delightful.

Number 5 - On the journey from Cambodia to Thailand, I had to abandon the bus I was on (due to a bridge outage), trudge through a muddy rice paddy and hitch a ride in the back of a Nissan truck crammed with 15 other people. I spent 4 hours hurtling towards the Thai boarder down an unbelievably rutted, dusty dirt road at the speed of light. Once I finally got back to Bangkok, I put my deeply bruised ass into the hot shower and stayed there for almost an hour.

Number 6 - Shortly after graduating college, I moved to London, England. I lived there for 6 months before returning to the States. I don’t know how the English consider themselves part of the western world when they have yet to master such primitive 20th century technology as truly hot water and actual water pressure. The first shower stateside was just magical. I used every drop of heated water in my friend’s apartment.

Number 7 - The shower I took after three days of hiking through the mountains in Northern Thailand was simply exceptional. It had been cold, muddy and poured sheets of rain for most of the time, I was in the shower so long I thought the guesthouse was going to kick me out.

Number 8 - The slow boat down the Mekong to Luang Prabang, Laos, is just that, slow and chilly. That wouldn’t have been bad at all except I was so very sick the whole time. I spent two days alternating between the fetal position and leaning my head over the edge of the boat. The relief of a hot water shower is simply impossible to explain.

Number 9 - I stayed at this hotel in Inle Lake, Burma that had simply the best bathroom I have ever seen. For the princely sum of $8 a night (a bit steep for me) I enjoyed endless scorching hot water and pounding pressure from one of those rain type fixtures. If that weren’t enough, the place was decorated with these river rocks all cemented to the walls. I hadn’t endured anything to earn such a wonderful shower, but it was great nonetheless.

Number 10 - The shower I took after a day spent on the roof of a coal powered train, a jammed rural bus and a moto taxi (all said 17 hours, 8 of which I urgently needed to pee), the shower I took at a Cuenca hotel in Ecuador was just a relief. Beautiful and simple perfection.

I know that during my Peace Corps service, several of these are going to be bumped off the list. All I can say is I look forward to the adventure that can top any of these.


  • At 11:04 PM, Blogger Brian Reeves said…

    What a great list! It reminded me of the character from High Fidelity -- he was always making top ten lists. Entertaining reading, M.E.!

  • At 6:58 PM, Blogger Me said…

    Thanks! I am a moderate Nick Hornby fan, but a massive John Cusak fan. I hope I don't become as obsessive as his character, althougth I might have the time...



Post a Comment

<< Home