That feeling of guilt .. but

I am in an unusual circumstance in this stage of my life where I find myself sharing a house with 2 housemates – I really am living my life backwards – living in a commune is something you do when you are 20, not 58. But that is what is so wonderful about the lives we can live – there are no hard and fast rules as to what you have to do when.

Also living in a house with one lady from a different culture and one observation in these differences as got me thinking.

South Africa, as a whole is suffering from a serious water shortage.  Cape Town has just dodged Day Zero with the residents and visitors doing their bit and curtailing their water consumption.

Personally I try and keep my twice a day showers down to the 1 song rule, but …. my one housemate to date has not used the shower or the bath.  She fills a small tub of water and washes. So her daily water consumption for bathing will be +- 10 litres whereas mine will be in the region of 100 litres (average of 50/shower).  Not sure if this a western cultural thing about the need to shower and was wondering if what was going through her mind was “it is the ‘white’ peoples fault that the country has no water”.  Imagine how much water we would save if we all washed with a small tub of water.  This is where the guilt sets in as there is something about the feel of that water gushing over your body washing all the cares of the day down the drain and I really don’t want to give that up.  And it is not just a hot shower as in Costa Rica we did not have hot water (no need it was so hot) and oh those cold shower were so good.

Again when I was based in the little village of Nam Thaoum in Laos, where my only water supply was a single tap out the wall, straight from the river, I survived using a bucket and a scoop.


My bathroom in Nam Thouam

We are so spoilt with our water readily on tap, and we take it for granted.  But I am loathe to give up the extravagance of my hot shower.  Might change it to a 1/2 song length to appease my guilt.  Realizing that we cannot continue going around with our heads in the sand as the lack of water is a real problem and something each one of us needs to address.

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