Something's different in me... can you guess what it is, Constant Reader? The answer at the end of this entry.
This morning I discovered that during the night, our hot water heater went kaboom and stopped working. I only glimpsed at the damage in the basement, but it looks like the water heater leaked all around the floor of the laundry room. Thankfully, it didn't spill into the pantry, the adjoining room which prevented it from spreading to the finished area of the basement. We had water, it was just very cold. We all had to take sponge baths. My mom put a cooler in the bathroom tub for those of us who wanted to take a "tabu bath".
Tabu baths are a blast from the past for me. Instead of going the sponge bath route, I decided to try my hand at a tabu bath.
A tabu bath is where you have a large bucket and a smaller bucket or large mug. What you do is put hot water in the bucket, add the cold water until the temperature is right for you, and use the large mug to scoop out the water and dump it on you to wet yourself / rinse off soap / rinse out shampoo.
My ma boiled two large pots of hot water which I brought to the bathroom and dumped into the large cooler. I politely refilled the pots and turned on the burners to get them boiling for the next tabu bather. I added cold water until the tabu water was no longer scalding and got into the tub (not in the cooler). I quickly dumped a scoop of water on me. Then, my memories of past tabu baths came back to me. I grabbed the scoop and dumped it back in the bucket, filling it with the very hot, barely tolerable water (you don't want to add too much cold water to the hot water, otherwise by the end of your shower, the water will be cold). Instead of dumping it on me quickly, I let the water trickle slowly through my fingers. I carefully directed the flow of water with through my hair with my hands, a bit awkwardly since it has been years since I've done it.
I got my hair satisfactorily wet with less than half a scoop. I put the scoop (sometmes called the tabu), into the cooler, filling it with water. I grabbed the shampoo and worked it to a pleasant lather. I tried leaning over the bucket a little and was warmed by the vapors while I worked the shampoo into my hair. I picked up the tabu and began rinsing my hair slowly. I could feel my hands remembering the many years that I gave myself tabu baths (I didn't start showering until late elementary school) and I skillfully rinsed all the shampoo from my hair with only two scoops.
I lathered up my washcloth and scrubbed away. It was the most invigorating bath I've had in a long time. I had to scrub quickly in order to keep warm. No constant spray of hot water to keep me warm. By the time I had scrubbed myself thoroughly, I could tell that I was getting quite cold and grabbed the tabu and splashed the warm tabu water on my. I rinsed myself off, pleased that I had only used a fraction of the water I expected to use. I decided to indulge myself and used up the rest of the tabu water rinsing myself off. Mm!
I remember when I was growing up... I would challenge myself to see how little water I could use in taking a tabu bath. I remember making imaginary lines in the bucket and alloting so much water for my hair and so much water for rinsing off and so much water for extra fun afterwards. Wow. Who knew that a busted water heater would bring out so many memories.
It all kind of falls into place, the past few days. The last time that I had a serious tabu bath was when I visited the Philippines (where you have to take tabu baths because there is no running hot water) and yesterday, my family was talking about our plans of going to the Philippines in December. I think I'm really going to be going, Constant Reader. My dad will pay for my ticket and I will pay for Mike's (yes, Mike is coming with me! This is very exciting, especially since he's never been out of the country and we need to get him a passport and he'll be the only caucasian guy for miles). Two thousand bucks pocket change and we're both set.
My only fear is that we plan on leaving around December 24th and arriving back in the States in January 7th. I trust American air traffic controlling computers. I trust Japanese air traffic controlling computers. I don't know how I feel about the Philippine air traffic controlling computers. It makes me want to grind my teeth in fear.
Answer: I am now parting my hair the other way. Does it look good? Be honest! Tell me.