Twenty-three days pass. It’s midnight. The shower cascades micro-beads of titillating moisture over my tired, jet-lagged body. I’ve been traveling twenty-four horrible hours, starting in Zagreb, Croatia and ending in Reno, Nevada. Fitful flights recede into the filaments of amnesia. My skin glistens. Jewels of moisture caress my body. I relish this moment of showering pleasure. No, this is not a prelude to some pornographic episode. Instead, it’s a testament to my wonderful walk-in, conch-shaped shower and the glorious showerhead, purchased in Sydney on my last trip.
I know. Who would bring a showerhead 7,610 air miles back home as if it is a coveted treasure from the land down under? Well, anyone, who has travelled to near and far-reaching pockets of the world, in search of a reasonable showering experience and even, non-peripatetic individuals, who are dissatisfied with showerheads, that merely emit a paltry, dribbling amount of precipitation, that’s akin to using a drip irrigation system to bathe.
Prior to the closing scene, there are lots of showers to be had. The first showering experience goes awry. In Frankfurt, Germany, I go to the executive lounge and sign up for a shower. A half-hour later, my pager remains stubbornly silent. Too late, I have to catch the bird to Zagreb, Croatia.
As I drive to the hotel, Zagreb greets me with colorful, cafe-dotted, cobblestoned lanes. In my room, I drop the suitcases and I check the shower. There’s a half-door glass panel. This convoluted design is perfect for creating a wading pool on the floor. Water gushes out like an unattended high-pressure fire hose. Oh well, it’s only one night. Ljubljana, scheduled for three nights, has to be better.
In Ljubljana, my abode has a spectacular view of a twelfth-century castle. It also comes with a glaring problem. Six, jaggedly-angled steps, leading downward into the bathroom where there is a MIA shower door, complemented by a dangling showerhead, and, a broken holder. Only a penguin could safely waddle into this dungeon-like area but he would surely have the dignity to refuse these bathing conditions. Not me, I surrender. I’m staying. I’m incapable of continuing to fight with my GPS dictator and her incessant mantra: “Re-calculating.”
After surviving wild waters in Ljubljana, I marvel at the Alpine panorama of Lake Bled, Slovenia, magnified in its brilliance by an enchanting island, reached by swan-shaped row boats. The Julian Alps provide the mystical backdrop for a medieval castle that overlooks the sapphire-imbued waters.
At the Bed and Breakfast, I spot what appears to be a tenable showering situation. My initial optimism is dashed upon usage. There’s no holder for the shower spray coil. A balancing act ensues. Stumbling, dropping the shampoo, and, losing control of the sprayer, I remind myself, it’s only for one night. Besides, I still have the turquoise, Adriatic Sea to enjoy in Split, the seaside promenade of Roving, the hiking trails of Plitvice Lakes, the Roman Forum in Zadar, the lavender-laced fields on the island of Hvar, and the fairytale setting of Dubrovnik, all in Croatia, plus, the historical locales of Mostar and Sarajevo in a country named, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to experience.
From Zagreb to Split to Sarajevo, and places in between, I encounter more showering mishaps. Regrettably, I earn a Ph.D. in “showerology.” Credits for this degree include: dealing with showerheads, misplaced in the middle of the tub wall area, rather than the corner, effectively providing an express conduit for a tsunami, using hand-held spray coils that lack a place to affix the cord, holding a shower door shut with one hand because it’s off the track, taking a cold shower because the hot water heater switch is turned off, having a shower curtain enclose only a third of the showering area, and, showering with low water pressure that presents all the grandeur of bathing under a watering can with blocked perforations in its’ nozzle, and, entering a high, narrow tub, best reached by pole vaulting. Caution: Once you stick your landing, don’t turn in this tub unless you have a suicidal death wish. All these memories and more vanish down the drain as I finish my home, sweet home, shower.
Waking up to a new day, I glide into my luxuriant shower. A veil of water springs forth and each drop replenishes my energy reservoir. Yes! It’s time to plan those trips to India and Ethiopia. I wonder, what showering experiences await me?