Adventures in Showering

In our first week in Berlin we have discovered many of the wonders of the city. There is the impaled UFO of a television tower in Alexanderplatz, the classical buildings of the museum quarter, the majestic Brandenburg Gate, the glass dome of the Bundestag, and the Central Park-like expanse of the Tiergarten, not to mention the basement food hall of the Galeries Lafayette (a surprise find by husband). But the thing I’ve been most fascinated by is much more local, inside our apartment as a matter of fact: our shower.

Like the television tower, our shower manages to look retro and futuristic at the same time. It could easily pass for a prop on Star Trek, especially when the miniature recessed ceiling lights are on (also convenient for use as a bathroom night light). Inside there are three knobs that seem to control from which direction the water shoots at you. My favorite is a combination of the removable shower head and ankle-height jets. Husband prefers the overhead experience, which is a bit too waterboardy for me. There are also two digital control panels with fourteen buttons each, most of which I am too scared to press despite the illustrations attempting to communicate what each is for. My favorite shows an adult stick figure standing next to a child. Bathing with your child is undoubtedly very continental, but the American prude in me refers to this as the pedophile setting. While we’re on disturbing subjects I’ll mention the coiled up length of blue rubber hose.  The accompanying illustrated warning looks like Loony Tunes’ language for speed: horizontal lines with a poof at the end that appear as the Roadrunner leaves Wile E. Coyote in the dust.

Husband did figure out what to press to make the jets undulate up and down your body in succession — an unsettling but not unpleasant experience — but so far neither of us have figured out how to work the high tap that pours into a shallow u-shaped shelf. There’s a bench underneath where apparently you sit until the shelf is filled and then tips over your head. Never mind exploring Berlin, there’s something to look forward to without leaving the house.

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