I just showered. I was trying to think, as I strode towards said shower desperate for the bathroom, how I would characterize my first full day in Glasgow. I thought over the details. It was an all right day, a day of logistics and small frustrations and a lot of redundant walking. No big wins, no big losses. I settled on “great” with some irony.
For one, I wasn’t at my job, the job that is so ludicrous it’s beyond hating. So that’s a big plus. In addition, I’m away and in Europe. That can’t be bad, America being where it is (tiring election, ridiculous president) and Europe being Europe. There are also no Republicans here, as far as I can tell – it’s a relief not to be confronted with Bush every day.
Now let’s run through the day. The hotel, ready room and semi-Scandinavian light fixtures notwithstanding, is not cool – literally and otherwise. It has no air conditioning, which in Glasgow’s overcast and muggy summer, is not good. It also has no internet connection, save, ahem, an extra phone jack. I know this sounds American and spoiled, but they are charging $170 a night, for God’s sake and this is a business hotel, not a quaint Scottish bed and breakfast. It’s version of a business center is 2 monitors in the lobby next to two huge cartoon drawings of some kind of conglomerate animal – you know, for the kids – where you can pay �5/hour for internet access. This is a dealbreaker for the boyfriend, as he does actually have work to get done. His dealbreaker is great for me because those animals annoy me.
It’s really the shower that kills me though. Come to that, it might – blood has been drawn, but more on that later. It’s one of those single plastic piece showers and it’s shaped like a normal bathub at the back (albeit narrower and shorter) but then balloons to a round shape up front instead of continuing the oval.
The shower curtain only encircles the round part. I can only assume that this is so that one midget may bathe privately in the back while someone else takes an equally private shower. Of course, one might argue that the midget’s privacy will be undermined by bathing in the shower water of the other person, but at least, like Adam before him, he need not be ashamed of his nakedness. Well, as long as there’s pre-arranged timing of bathing anyway.
In a stroke of blindness, the shower curtain is fixed to the rod at the side wall of the shower, meaning that the only way to reach for anything at the back of the tub, where the storage ledges are, is to actually open the curtain on the room side, so that all the water may then spray onto the floor. All in all, it’s really ingeniously exactly NOT what it should be.
(The aforementioned blood came into play when I made the huge error of trying to shave my legs in this fabric-enclosed space. I should know better, from experience in box showers over the years, but I got cocky. After all, I lived in Brooklyn for 5 years with a square shower and I didn’t die.)
The dangerous shower was preceded by the usual details of a new city: ridiculous converter plugs (we’ve moved on to a 2-converter system which seems to work – nothing’s blown up yet, at any rate), annoying wireless at cafes, looking for a new hotel, a return to deep caffeine and sugar after months of decaf and Splenda, and the annual search for massively over-priced European Levis.
All in all, it’s coming together nicely.