the shower dance

I knew that there would be challenges in coming to Germany.  Adjusting to the culture, learning how the language is spoken in real life, and understanding my classes.

But I had no idea that the challenges would include using the shower in my apartment.

the showerhead, the button to turn it on, and the knob to change the temperature.  looks simple, right?

The basics of using this shower aren’t hard.  Push the top button to turn the water on, and turn the knob on the bottom to pick a temperature.  No problems there.  But how to turn the water off when you’re done?

That’s the easy part.  30 seconds after the button is pushed, the water turns off.  To have a shower that isn’t punctuated by the lack of warm water every thirty seconds, you have to keep hitting that button constantly.

And showering turns out to be more complicated than that, even.  Because of the motion sensor:

the motion sensor controlling the light.  the other box is a humidity sensor controlling the ventilation system.

The motion sensor controls the light in the shower stall.  Every time it senses motion, it turns the light on for three minutes or so. If it doesn’t sense motion within that time, the light turns off.  Since the shower curtain blocks my feeble attempts to re-activate the sensor by waving my arm above my head, I often have to move the shower curtain itself back and forth.  That lets a blast of cold air into the shower stall.  Brr.

The combination of the water button and the motion sensor controlling the light turn every shower into a sort of dance.  Activate the light, activate the water. Keep hitting the water button with my elbow every few seconds while shampooing and such, and then, suddenly, the light goes off.  Immediately move the shower curtain back and forth until I can see the light bulb starting to glow again, then immediately hit the water button so the water won’t turn off before I have light to see by.  And then go back to hitting the water button every few seconds.  And so on. I’ve gotten used to it.  It won’t be showcased on MTV anytime soon, but the shower dance gets the job done.


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