Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The hot shower featured prominently in Nomad's writings about sustainability and civilisation:
It's remarkable how little one really needs for hiking in the bush. Good shoes and a proper backpack are half the enjoyment. A good bed-bunk and a hot meal at the end of the day: also important. Practical tools: a hat, a pocketknife, a compass. But the one thing everyone, bar none, craves for after 2 days of hiking: a hot shower. I can only conclude that showering (or bathing) has become part of who we are. We can no longer go without.
After diverse other accidents, he was sitting freezing in a bus stop in a town a day's ride from Paris, when a hippie came by, and told him: "Why don't you come with me & stay at the farm of my uncle for the night? There is hot shower!" (My friend: "In those days, I didn't dream of girls or something, I dreamt of a hot shower!" -- Nomad's rule of Civilised Luxury No. 1 seems to hold.)
what are the bare bones in today's society? So I drew up a shopping list. It is not that different than DeAnander's list, and I used my South African experience to re-evaluate and Africanise my nomadic wish-list from Sweden.



Hot water - for my shower and my shave

I favour the approach of smart and sexy solutions with the corporation of certain western commodities and privileges. Clean water, a warm house, a hot shower with the push of a button - why should we not be trying to preserve those at first? Once we fail to do that, perhaps DeAnander's return-to-innocence scenario might play out. But I'm unwilling to move straigh there as long as there is the chance to opt for the first scenario.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 8th, 2008 at 06:25:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hot showers are no so much about getting clean and fresh as being nakedly sensual and feeling happy. I guess most people feel happy in a hot shower - that's why some of us sing.

I read of a judge who retired to chambers for a shower before any difficult summing up. It was not ritualized cleansing - he said that free-roaming shower meditation brought him perspective.

In Finland, the sauna has a very special role. The shower (or swim in the lake, sea or pool) after sauna is part of the ritual, but  the main event is sitting naked with others in 80 deg C semi-darkness and staring at a few hot stones on top of the stove.

Being naked with your friends is an affirmation of closeness and openness. In business saunas (quite frequent occurences) the hierarchy is reversed or levelled - the older guys higher up the ladder are tubby and out of shape, the younger guys trimmer. Stripped of the badges and trappings of status, the conversations are open, friendly, listening and cooperative. IMO the business sauna plays quite a big role in the comparative equitability of Finnish business people.

BTW mixed business saunas are rare, but I've hear the women's versions are even more levelling across the age spread.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jul 16th, 2008 at 06:30:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series