How to have a cold travel shower
If there’s one test that separates true, hardened travellers from the bumbag wearing tourists and cruise ship day trippers, it’s the cold shower.
For the unbaptised, here’s how to do it like a true traveller.
Step 1: Turn the tap you believe to be hot to full bore.
Hold your hand beneath the icy flow to test the temperature. Once your hand goes numb, start telling yourself it’s getting warmer. Surely it just takes a while to heat up. Maybe there’s a guy downstairs lighting a small fire under the tank. This could be it. A hot shower!
Let hope turn to despair as you realise you can no longer feel your fingertips. The loss of blood to your extremities will bring on temporary memory loss – is the hot tap always on the left? Maybe it’s the right.
Step 2: Turn off the ‘hot’ tap and turn the cold on full.
Repeat step one, but with a wholly more crushing sense of devastation when you realise no amount of wishful thinking will make this shower hot.
Step 3: Under a moderate flow, dance your feet into the spray, being careful to shield your torso. Cup handfuls of cold water and rub them over your legs and arms.
Ha – your limbs are clean. That wasn’t so bad.
Consider calling it a partial success and bailing. Doesn’t Brad Pitt reportedly have a ‘natural musk’? Can’t you rebrand your travel grime and funk as natural perfume? Smell yourself. You’re no Brad Pitt, are you?
Step 4: This is the hardest bit but you have to trust me. Turn your back to the shower. Lean back in an awkward limbo pose until the spray hits the back of your head. Take a deep breath. Think of all those times you were dangerously hot (car trips home from the beach, Big Day Out boiler room sessions, Bikram bloody yoga). Step backwards into the flow.
Embrace the rivulets of icy water running down your hair.
Notice that by the time it hits your legs, the water is actually warmed from the heat on your skin. Even the cold water is getting a warm shower.
Step 5: Vigorously splash the water on your armpits and pink bits. Turn the water off and soap every inch of yourself.
Step 6: Turn the water on again to rinse. Realise it doesn’t feel that cold. Laugh. You’ve beaten it. You’ve dominated the cold shower.
Step 7: Get out of the shower and into a well-earned fluffy towel. Go downstairs to celebrate with a (room temperature) beer. Notice how people are regarding you differently – with more respect.
Somehow, the cold shower has transformed you. You hold the icy intensity in your eyes. You can handle anything.
You are now a true traveller. So take that bumbag off.