So, yes, as the title indicates, this post will be about showering. Why? because there is currently a very specific way in which one must take a shower in Astrakhan. Starting last week and until the 18th (hopefully..) of September the hot water in all of Astrakhan has been shut off. They supposedly use this time to do repairs, prep for winter, etc., though I’m not quite sure where these repairs are taking place.
Russians are very conscious about staying healthy and often very easily and quickly get sick. Thus, cold water showers definitely don’t make the cut in a Russian household. Quite honestly, I’m very okay with this, as I’m not the biggest fan of cold showers.
On the first day of our hot water outage, Katya told me she had a very specific “technique” to showering. I am going to show you the steps required for me to shower. Yes, it truly is a procedure.
These are my “tools”:
Two pots of water; actually to get the right amount I usually have to double these. I cannot use the tea-pot because, as Katya says it’s very good and of high quality and only for tea.
This chainik heats water really quick-like, so normally I use about three of these. This is only for things like showering, as it’s not good for drinking water, says Katya.
Step 1: Fill the necessary tools up with water. This is, quite obviously, the fastest step. Be careful, if you walk away for too long the water will over flow and water waste is NOT what we want here, folks.
Step 2: Heat the water. This step usually takes about 15 minutes, depending on how friendly the water wants to be. Don’t use salt to decrease the water’s boiling point – it’s bad for your skin and dangerous for your health!
Step 3: Transport the water from the kitchen to the bathroom. Be careful, spillage may result in slippage.
We now work with our next two “tools”. Please note below the giant pink bucket and the red plastic pot. And, of course the bath tub – that we can’t do without! Now, Katya typically puts about two inches of cold water into the pink bucket before it is filled with hot water. This step is optional, as hot water may be added later (see Step 6).
Step 4: Dump the water in the big pink bucket sitting in the bathtub.
Repeat steps 1-4 until the pink bucket is full.
Step 5: Step into the shower. Now you can choose to stand, or sit. I find standing works a tad bit better.
Step 6: Use the plastic red pot to scoop scalding hot water from the big plastic bucket. Then top off the scalding hot water with cold tap water to make the temperature bearable.
Step 7: Pour over body.
Repeat steps 6 and 7 as often as necessary or until the water in the giant pink bucket is exhausted.
CONGRATS. YOU ARE NOW CLEAN!