Monday, June 18, 2007

The Dirty Hippie

It’s not that we are dirty hippies, it’s just that it hurts to shower.

I know, it sounds crazy, but consider our living situation.

It’s cold, and when I say it’s cold, yes, I am talking about life in 30 to 40 degree weather. Big deal, right? That’s what I once thought too. But consider this. We live in a house void of insulation, built like a dungeon so the minimum amount of sunlight possible enters, and without heat. And so, when it is 40 degrees outside, it is 40 degrees inside.

Central heating has been redefined as follows:
1. A tiny heating mechanism that sits in the corner of our living room called an estufita. If you stand directly in front of it, you are warm. Otherwise, it serves little purpose.

2. Guatero. Think of a hot water bottle wrapped in a cloth. Put steaming water in it, hug it like you’d hug your girlfriend, and pray you fall asleep before the warmth fades away. Unfortunately, these things apparently have been known to explode on people… I am praying to return with a body free of scalding, because I think the story that I fell asleep hugging a water bottle and that´s why I have these burns might not be too cool.

3. Sleeping bag. Sittin on the couch, or going to bed at night, also sleep in your sleeping bag, with another blanket or two on top as well as sweatpants, a hoodie (with the hood up covering your head of course).

4. Yelling obscenities while doing rapid movement. I’m convinced this one works the best.

5. Tea. Drinking it could be consolation enough, but some of the best moments of my day come from standing in front of the stove with my hands over the kettle, taking in the excess heat.

6. Laying on the couch with Jack. He might be dirty, but man is he warm!

7. Showers. And this my friends, is wear the pain comes in. First, we don’t even turn the cold water handle. Purely hot. And it feels like needles hitting your skin, especially your toes, as the steaming water makes contact with your body. And just as the pain wears away, and it starts to feel good, your shower is done. You turn the water off and step onto the cold tile, and instantly re-enter a cold world.

And so that brings me back to my opening. It’s not that we are dirty hippies. True, I change my clothes only every three or four days now (you trying getting naked in this weather) and true, I shower at about the same interval (ok, actually a little less). It’s not that we are earth children, it really is, that it is too friggin cold!


madsters said...

Patrick, a little trick I learned this year is that if you are using your oven to cook dinner, stick some bricks in there and then pull them out (with oven mits), wrap a towel around it and stick it at the foot of your bed, it adds a little extra warmth and the bricks hold heat pretty well

Faber said...

I like 4 and 6. :-)

Keep warm my brother.

Ryan said...

Nice post, Patrick. If you want to see some of the weather that he's writing about, I've been working on a live display of the temperature in Santiago.