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Thirty days of cold showers in the dark.


After going days without showering in Guatemala because the water was too cold, I knew it was going to be bad when I found out that Bishkek turns the hot water off in the entire city for an entire 30 days! I thought it was some sort of joke when another student said he heard this, but no, it was definitely no joke. I asked the administration in the school office and they acted as if it were no big deal. Bishkek needs to flush out the hot water system, which must be extremely inefficient because it takes a month to do it. Well I wish I would have known about this before planning on being in Bishkek in May!

Last Monday morning I went to wash my face, but alas, it began! There was a quick sputter-sputter-spit nose and only a few drops of the hot stuff. After that, the only drops of hot water falling were my tears as I braved a few cold showers – and I’m not talking Guatemala cold showers here – I’m talking the cold water must be cooled extra before being dispensed from the tap because I have no idea how the water can be that cold when it is so freaking hot outside! So, the only real way to deal with this dilemma is to give up on real showers and only take a proper bath when I have time/energy to deal with boiling a huge pot of water.

And if that wasn’t enough to make life interesting, the whole of Kyrgyzstan has been dealing with power shortages. See, Kyrgyzstan is self-sufficient with hydroelectricity, which is good because they don’t have the money to buy electricity from other countries. But, apparently, this year the water in the dams is extremely low meaning they have to scale down on electricity expenditure. Because of this, the electricity at my home will go out anywhere between midnight and 1 am until 6 am – with occasional outages during the day lasting 5 hours or more. And, even though it hasn’t happened yet, there is definitely the possibility of getting caught in one of my rare showers in the dark. That’s ok, though. I have a large stash of small flashlights and even one on my cell phone to save the day.


When I had finally come to terms with the idea of being a bit dirtier than I’d like to be during the next month, Ryan, a fellow student, dropped another bombshell. He informed me that it might even end up that Bishkek will be without both HOT and COLD water in June! I laughed. No way, right?! Of course it is all a big rumor, but when he showed me the blog post of one of the teachers at the London School (yes, blogs are great for stalking), it all kind of made sense. You can read about the interesting water/electricity dilemma here on her blog if you would like.

Sounds like an exciting life, huh? Traveling/living in third world countries definitely does one thing – makes you appreciate the little things back home just a bit more. Right now I’m just looking forward to my trip to Kazakhstan on May 30th when I just might have the opportunity to take a blazing hot shower… and hang out with Borat.

But mainly, just for the shower.


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3 Responses to Thirty days of cold showers in the dark.

  1. Will June 4, 2008 at 10:57 am #

    oh man, I can relate (kinda) here at the South Pole, we get two, two-minute showers per week…at least it’s two minutes of hot water…how I long for a “Hollywood shower”


  2. Yannis July 17, 2008 at 4:53 pm #

    It does make you appreciate the things we have. I’m sure it’s still a great experience for you. To tell the stories later on in life or actually read them of this blog will be priceless.
    Good Luck!


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