Saturday, September 19, 2015

Suicide Showers, or The Choice Between Cleanliness and Aliveness

Our new house has what is commonly called a Suicide Shower. I'm not joking! I suppose the true name is electric shower head... but that doesn't roll off the tongue quite the same, does it? :D
Our shower head
Why is it called a suicide shower? Because of the super-fun combination of live electricity and water!

Here's how it works. The shower head has an electric heating coil in it to warm up the water as it passes through. Being electric, it therefore needs wires to power it... and most of these showers are installed by folks that know very little about trivial things like grounding and fuses. The result: sparks, shocks, and sometimes even death.

(A friend here told us, "There is a hotel in San Pedro that is notorious for killing people with its shower." Hmmm...I wonder if that's on their TripAdvisor page?)

All that aside, if installed correctly, these ingenious showers do provide lovely warm water from a cold water source. Plus, as long as you have power, you can have a warm shower for as long as you like. No running out of hot water and having to rinse off in icy cold!

You just have to remember to NEVER touch the shower head while it's running. Luckily, ours is placed quite high up, so there's no chance of accidentally bumping our heads on it. So far, both of us have had nice showers in it with no problems. (Although I kinda cheated and wore my rubber Crocs in the shower just in case.)

Here's one blogger's story about his adventure with a suicide shower.

A video worth watching about suicide showers. The sarcasm is strong with the narrator!

Just another fun thing to experience here in Guatemala. Much more tolerable than the squat toilets I experienced in Europe!

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