JournalismPakistan.com September 30, 2013
So there I am standing in the tub of this fancy hotel where everyone is dressed better than you, all soaped up and staring dubiously at this shiny, silver faucet that looks like it fell off Apollo 11.
I’ve scalded myself once and chilled the flesh twice and feeling like a cross between a boiled lobster and a popsicle, now succeed in switching off the shower completely while trying to get the correct blend and flow.
Somewhere in this unjust world there must be a law that states hotel guests need not be scientific experts before they clock in for a bath and that the fitting of this facility do not require an IBM course to manipulate.
I move a tentative finger towards the gleaming unhelpful main system of plumbing, feeling rather like some intrepid Livingstone blazing new trail in rainforest. Now if I turn the scalpel shaped lever 20 degrees to the left maybe it will start the water running again.
Nothing happens. Not even the traditional gurgle. Impassive is the word that comes to mind. So I shift the color-coded steel flap backwards then forwards, then jiggle it, lift it up, press it down and do a whole damn 360 turn, clockwise and anti-clockwise.
The shower stays unmoved. So I shift my attention to the nozzle which looks about as complicated as a computer to an arts students and it has got five different speeds, four modulated jet stream intensities and 10 angles to choose from.
I don’t want to go to the moon, I want to get the soap off, is that asking too much, go on work you beknighted shower system, do your thing. I find this little knob under the nozzle and pull at it. I twist it and nozzle reacts by changing shape and flaring out like it was a Concorde coming in for landing.
Whatever happened to the simple shower that spat water, rumbled like monsoon thunder, then settled into a little rainfall as you shifted and wriggled so that all of you got wet, at least you could trust it, it worked and it switched on and off without having to read a flipping manual.
By now the soap is like a second skin and I am thinking maybe you need a codeword to get it going, you know something like abracadabra dough, water commence your flow.
So now I wrench at the lever, I pummel it, I am angry and when I am angry oboy am I angry, I shall have a thing or two to say to this hotel but wait a minute what will they think, that tribe of supercilious all dressed up penguins who staff swanky hotels, they’ll think I am a klutz.
A peasant, I can hear them discussing it afterwards, you know we had this guy, this journalist fellow and he didn’t know how to work the shower, where do they come from, the yellow pages, he had to call us for help, stuck there in the tub, couldn’t work a small thing like the shower lever. I can hear them laughing already.
No, can’t afford to call. Give controls filthy malevolent look and one final tug followed by several jerks. No water. Finally remove soap by scooping water into tiny sized glass and ending miserable experience. Rather than have this mechanic grinning at you saying, it works well, Sir, you didn’t know how to use it, is this your first time, see you put your hand under the infrared sensor....aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh?
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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