Laughter to the Rescue

My mom was laughing at me. Or was she laughing with me?

We were talking via Skype when I heard the water come on. I told her to hold on so I could quickly wash my face and do the things I needed to do before bed while the water was running.

A giggle.

I got back to the phone and began describing to her how I had to take a cold bucket bath earlier that week.

I don’t know if I’m crazy, but it never crossed my mind to heat some of the water before taking a bath. I figured the temperature is always like summer here, so that extra work of hauling water to a stove, boiling it, mixing it with cold water, etc…just didn’t seem necessary.

Instead, I choose to scream whenever I have to splash myself with water that seems mighty cold for living in a tropical clime.

I told my mom how I was coaching myself not to scream when I bucket bathe and she burst out laughing. Next thing I knew, I was laughing too.

And I laughed the next time I was looking crazy in my apartment (thank goodness I live alone), telling myself not to scream because I knew the frigid water was coming.

Then there was the time I moisturized my hair with honey and olive oil (thanks to a great Curly Nikki recipe). I managed to get splotches of honey all over me. When I went to turn on the water, there was none. I rushed downstairs like a  madwoman to my conversation pal at the security desk and his eyes got wide.

“Que pasó? You’re sweating!”

I’m glad he thought the honey was sweat. The truth was too embarrassing. I had to be at salsa class in less than an hour, I had honey stuck to me and there was no water???

Bucket, reserved water, and laughter to the rescue.

I thank my mom for that phone conversation. I’m not sure exactly why, but it broke my anxiety surrounding water. Maybe I’ve entered the next phase of cultural adjustment: gradual adjustment. Time will tell.

And I just hope the kids didn’t notice this week that my armpits smelled like curry chicken (I had made curry the night before) when I realized AFTER I got to work that my bucket bath wasn’t as well-done as I had thought.


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