Friday, March 13, 2015

Un-American Showers

In an earlier post from this trip, I described the classic half-wall/in a tub shower.  That is certainly one of the European favorites.

However, with newer-designed hotels, you sometimes have a "sort-of-enclosed" shower where glass walls come out from the bathroom wall and there is a glass door to enter the shower.

From a distance, they look lovely.

However, these showers were obviously designed by someone who either "didn't wash" or "only took baths" - he (or she) clearly had no interest in what it was actually for (apart from the concept that water is supposed to come down on one's head).

The first problem with most of these showers is that the glass door is of a size where if you are a three-dimensional person, with hips, stomach, thighs and similar parts, it is never clear whether it is better to pull the door out or push it in.  Either way, you have to move around like a circus contortionist to get around the door.

The second problem is figuring out how to turn the shower on and how to adjust the temperature.  A very common approach in Europe is that one knob turns on the water and the other knob (which you are desperately grasping for as the water falls on you which is either "Arctic cold" or "Hellfire hot") adjusts the temperature.  Sometimes it is clear, but more often than not it is more of a guess as to which knob does what.

The final problem is that the European shower designers have no concept of what a shower floor or basin might look like.  They don't care.  The glass doors and walls go almost, but not quite, to the floor, leaving a gap around the shower bottom which spills (literally) out into the bathroom. The shower floor, in the meantime, is flush with the bathroom floor, with not the slightest hint of a lip to discourage water from streaming out.  There is a drain, often in the shower, but it really doesn't matter where it is located since the floor is flat.  Water goes down the drain only if it happens to pass by it.  There is no urgency in this process and the water can move about the entire bathroom at its leisure.

Karen has told me several times that if I position the shower door in Europe exactly right (as in, not too far in and not too far out), then less water will spill.  Karen, while not a particularly patient person, can be very patient and particular when it comes to keeping things clean and orderly.  My problem is that I am a guy and I have no patience with these types of things.  My view is, get in, get it done and let the clean-up crew (which can be me) come in fix it later.  My other issue is, when I shower, I want the water to be hot and plentiful (as in, like a huge waterfall).  I rely on the trickle-down theory with respect to water and expect to disappear into the drain after that.

In Europe, this doesn't work as the drain is more of a leak, allowing a little but not too much of the water to leave the bathroom.

There is a lot about Norway (and Europe) that I love, but I am looking forward to my American shower!!!!!

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