Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Getting clean the Tico way

We're ever so grateful for the hot water heater in our home. Plumbed-in hot water, even in bathrooms, is not the norm in Costa Rica. Many Ticos are accustomed to cool, brisk showers in the morning (sure to wake up any sleepyhead!), but those without hot water heaters who long for something more soothing do have an option: the suicide shower.

This scary contraption, rumored to be common throughout much of Latin America, has a well-earned name; it hooks up to the shower head where coils heat the water just before it rains down. Wires are exposed, an electrical current is flowing through them...water and voltage—a potentially lethal combination!

I've heard stories (and I believe them) about people receiving shocks while shampooing or seeing blue flashes from the shower head.

Lest you think I'm enjoying a hearty laugh at your expense, allow me to share some proof. Here are a couple of pictures sent to me, by request, from my expat friends on my Costa Rica Yahoo group:

There you have it: the suicide shower. Talk about invigorating—there's nothing like risking electrocution for hot water in the morning!

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