Time out for a little personal observation posting. I have been travelling on one of those forced marches through Europe – you know 10 cities in 7 days kind of things — and this time I am really noticing the challenge posed by the bathtub/shower complex present in many hotels.
I will refer to them as killer bathtubs because its attention grabbing and it is easy to see how someone getting out of the bath could slip and fall sustaining serious injury or even death. Ok it is more about grabbing your attention.
BTW on the last trip like this I noticed how all ‘Nordic’ based cultures – including the UK do hot water in the shower better than anyone else, so there is no deep meaning to these observations.
You think I am kidding about this.
But when I raised the issue to a CIO in London he said, “Your lucky because your tall. Imagine what its like for someone who is not so tall.” Another CIO, an Irishman true to form, told me that having this problem meant that the hotels I was staying in are way too high class for me.
First a description of the tub.
In many hotels the bathtub also holds the shower, which is no big deal. The big deal comes in the dimensions of the tub. The wall of the tub is about 3 feet higher than the bathroom flow so you have a pretty big edge to step over to get in the tub. See the picture below to get an idea. Inconvenient yes but manageable.
Next the floor of the tub is not even with the floor of the bathroom. In fact, it is an average 8 – 12 inches higher than the floor. So, while you have to climb over the 3-foot edge, your foot only goes down two feet before you are in the tub. Not so bad, in fact it makes climbing in the tub a little like climbing a stair. Soon with the other foot over you are in the tub and ready to go. The tub itself is narrow about 3 to 3.5 feet wide at the top that narrows to about 2 feet at the bottom of the tub. The graphic below illustrates provides an edge on view.
In case you are wondering I am writing this on an airplane ride on a Sunday so it can be argued that I do not have anything else to do.
I am sure that makes for a great bath, but from a shower perspective it means that you have to keep your feet next to each other while showering – or at least I have to keep my size 13 feet together to have them fit in the tub. So far, not bad a little cramped and the showerhead is sometimes too low for me, but hey it is Europe and you need to make adjustments.
Finishing your shower now means thinking about how are going to get out of the tub and this is where its true porcelain sinister nature arrives.
The tub is like a pitcher plant. The pitcher plant traps insect by luring them into its bulb and then making it impossible for the insect to escape.
The tub has lured you in with the promise a good hot shower. It has delivered that promise and now it has you trapped, feet firmly together, we, without your glasses (a big deal in my case) you have to get out.
Getting out is not as simple as getting in.
First you have to lift your foot up the two feet to get over the edge, but now it has to travel down three feet to the floor.
You are already off balance.
Your feet, which used to be pushed together, are now apart and your center of gravity is straddling over the three-foot high side of the tub.
Your one wet foot is standing on a marble floor at least a foot below you other wet foot which is still in the tub.
It’s a good thing there are not web cam in the bathroom, or at least I really hope there is not a web cam filming this transition.
Half in and half out, here is when you look around for hand holds to help you transfer your weight up, across and then down to the floor. You see in the picture below that there are handholds, but more for getting in the tub than getting out. The design of an effective trap, lots of help to get in, little to get out.
Needless to say, getting out the tub is not graceful. It is usually punctuated with a brief thought of what you would do if you fell, how silly you would look and how much damage a fall would do.
You make it out. It is a little awkward. The transition gives you just the right amount of activity to get your pulse going in the morning. You are out alive and ready to start the day.
You look back at the tub, not this time my friend. It is a new day and you start it knowing that there is another city coming and another tub waiting.
Hope you enjoyed the post.