It was about a month ago that I mentioned I’d had my last bath for a while. I was wrong about that. The water heater, an electrical apparatus attached directly to the shower faucet, has ceased to provide any excuse for warm water. It’s chilly here in the mountains, and today I was finally done with cold showers. I borrowed the wash tub from my Señora and boiled a lot of water to fill it. It was magical.
But, about that electric shower heater. My kind host Señor is in the process of hammering it back into functioning condition as we speak. After reading this blog post, I learned that in Guatemala these heaters are nicknamed “widowmakers”. I then recalled a specific moment from three weeks ago: I was in mid-luke-warm shower when it stopped working. I’d switched the heater off and on, then the top lit up. “That’s funny,” I thought, “I don’t think there would be a bulb in there.” Now, I’m going to try to put that moment out of my mind again. Telling my hosts I will not use the shower because I think it’s dangerous is not really an option. I don’t think I can convince them they’re unsafe because they are so common. There’s no alternative for me but to stop using it. So, I suppose I’ll be boiling water for this blue tub more often than I had anticipated.