Insights From Abroad: Revelations,Quandaries, and Hilarities. Episode 1

I’m really excited about this little series, because a) I have a lot of material and b) I like to infuse my writing with just a little bit of snark.

I’ll make various installments throughout our time abroad, and I hope I have enough cyberspace to fit it all, because after two weeks there’s already quite a bit.

Without further ado, here is the first of what I hope to be an incredibly entertaining series.


Shower Escapades

For those who have ever traveled to another country, you know full well that managing the plumbing can be quite a, um, learning experience peppered with trial and error and sometimes ending in complete chaos, utter disappointment, and sometimes, if you’re lucky, complete sucess. Of course, any seasoned traveler still living knows not to touch those live wires hanging dangerously close to shower heads, affectionately dubbed widow-makers. But tonight, we had an entirely different matter on our hands.

Arriving to our hotel in Aksum, we felt like we had hit the penthouse suite jackpot of Ethiopia. We scored two adjoining rooms and TWO BATHROOMS. And not only that, the “master” bathroom came with a full on jacuzzi/shower combo complete with light show options. I knew this was THEE NIGHT for our kids to get wicked clean, and have a blast doing it.

After dinner, we headed upstairs for what I was sure to be an epic end of the day for the kids. Climbing into the shower (fully clothed, mind you. It was a pretty big tub and the handheld shower head made for what I thought would be easy water control. Newb move), I started with the top priority: hitting the neon blue lights, like something straight from the Vegas strip. We were going to do this thing right.

Next I turned the water to hot, and immediately the pressure turned to near zero. Wah- waaaaaaaahhhhhhh. Not a good sign. My two littles had already tossed their clothes to the floor and stood in the tub, eyes blinking at me expectantly in their birthday suits. I was contemplating just how to break the news that the shower would not be warm when I realized the shower head in my hand had another message to share. It began to spurt, jarringly at first, then full on like a jet spray, getting stronger by the second.

Graham, my sweet, extremely-sensitive-to-sensory-input Graham, began to shriek incessantly. I knew at once that it was not the temperature of the water that was the problem (it was perfectly warm by now), but the unpredictable manner in which it was being spurt forth from the shower. If he wasn’t in full panic mode at the moment, he surely would’ve said, “It’s too loooouuuuuud.”

My naive Naomi, stil unsure what to think at times, looked to Graham, as she often does, for the appropriate emotional response. Sensing complete and utter terror she too began to screech at the horror of it all.

And what with the relentless water spewing forth and the caterwauling of the naked children and such, my aim became less than ideal, and I inadvertently soaked my own clothes.

“BEEEEEENNNNNNNN!” I screamed to my adult counterpart. “Bring towels and come quick!”

Just as the valiant towel bearer came rushing in to rescue us all from the horrific scene unfolding, the shower head settled into a nice rhythm, complete with warm, evenly distributed water. Glory be! It looks as if the angels were smiling down upon our neon blue hot mess after all.

The kids eventually stopped howling and I, taking a moment to let everything sink in, began to laugh. Hysterically and uncontrollably. I may have peed a little, but I can’t be sure because, as I mentioned, I was already completely soaked.

Honestly, I still can’t think about this without crying tears of laughter at the absurdity of it all.

The kids got shampooed, washed, conditioned, and rinsed, Daddy’s arms wrapping big white warm towels around their tiny clean bodies.

As they cozied into their clean jammies, Graham had just one thing to say: “That. Was the greatest shower ever.”

Yes, buddy, it was.

Photographic evidence of the guilty offender

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