Currently, we are privileged to have been invited to stay at a friends – and words can not describe the contrast. We have moved from a middle class area, to a lower class compound and are now staying in an upper class gated complex. We stayed in a guesthouse in a rapidly developing area, each day eating breakfast with people from all over the world to a shared-housing compound with limited water and electricity, being surrounded by wonderful children, learning their games and waking up at 5am each day to their not so happy shrieks, the morning rooster ritual calls, honking cars and hand-washing of our neighbours right outside the bedroom window. – We are now in a gated community with a night guard, three bathrooms, a swimming pool, our own bedrooms (yes, we had been sharing), full kitchen, house cleaner and you wouldn't believe it.... hot water!!!
When we arrived we were in awe – it was absolutely beautiful. We felt as though we were entering a resort. It was a complete contrast from the style we had previously been living. This home has all the amenities of an average home back in Canada - washing machine, full size refrigerator, air conditioning, television, three bathrooms - all of which are now perceived to me as luxuries. It's interesting to recognize all the 'everyday things' we tend to take for granted in a developed country.
After packing, moving, walking, working; a shower was a must! It was necessary to remove the dirt-tan I had gained over the course of our day. I was already looking forward to a good scrub and have mastered the art of a good cold shower – but to my surprise, I could not believe it.... “THERE'S HOT WATER!!!!!”
The irony and appreciation was humorous. I had completely accepted the fact a hot shower was not something I would endear until my return to Canada and I was okay with that. Initially I said even if I had the chance I would probably pass down the option to bathing with hot water - I was convinced I had grown an appreciated tolerance for cold showers, as it wasn't abnormal for our water to be shut off for up to three days at a time and any water at all was a relief. I was also afraid I might lose my built resistance to the cold showers immediately after I enjoyed a warm one. But unknowingly receiving this surprise was different and I gratefully accepted. It was by far, one of the best showers I've ever had ... I couldn't have felt cleaner :)
I've realized it isn't until these 'daily luxuries' aren't constantly available that you stop expecting them and become grateful. Take a page out of Chairperson of the Council of Canadians' Maude Barlow's book – water is not a commodity.
Thank you hot shower, I appreciate you.