Things I Won’t Miss.

July 25, 2013

Winter 002Brrrr. I said, “It’s cold in here…”

I know. I complain about the Paraguayan heat all.the.time. It really is as intense as I talk it up to be and the sweating is indeed out of control.

But once in awhile, on rare occasion, a cold snap will sneak in overnight and wreak havoc on our normally sweaty souls. Because houses are built for torrid summers, there is very little insulation to keep the chill at bay. Floor tiles give the sensation of walking barefoot on a frozen pond and the gaping cracks around windows invite in gusts of bone-crushing temperatures. It is often colder inside than out, and as my friend puts it so eloquently, “Imagine spending October, in New Hampshire, in your unheated garage.”

Generally, hiding in bed while layered in my entire wardrobe and with my face dangerously close to a small, life-saving space heater is my survival stance. It mostly works but hibernation does complicate the necessity of bathing.

When I walked into my bathroom yesterday morning, it was 26 degrees inside. Fahrenheit. I rapidly jumped ship and abandoned all notions of showering or tooth brushing. Washing my face with liquid glacier was just not an option. I was going to have to suck it up at some point, but there was nothing a double layer of deodorant was not going to temporarily solve.

But after a full day of dread and goose flesh, prolonging the inevitable was no longer possible. And by the beard of Zeus, never has cleansing been such a harrowing process.

Standing in the bathroom fully clothed is enough to strike fear in the heart of an Eskimo, so doffing the duds is quite the otherworldly experience. With an open layout and no shower curtain, your body is further subjected to the fury of nature’s forces. Even worse is that the trickle that ekes out of the widow maker and covers only the crown of your head prevents a rapid rinse off and run. It takes Sandlot FOR-E-VER to complete a full shower.

On top of this agonizing operation is the constant oscillation between lukewarm water and ice cubes. Every thirty seconds or so, I have to hop out of harm’s way (although standing wet in the frigid cold isn’t exactly a safety zone either) as the water temperature lowers severely. The knob must be deftly handled with painstaking precision to guide the water back to human acceptability, and soap lathering resumes until the next episode of temperature cruelty strikes.

I will not miss this.

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