Crazy Pipes

March 4, 2010

The plumbing here sucks. The tap handles fall off, the toilet leaks, the sink is plugged, sometimes the hot water is on the left, other times on the right. The toilet seat is loose. Generally, taking a shower here is more like taking a bath, as the drain is always plugged and you’re sure to be standing knee deep in soapy, scummy water by the end. The water temperature cycles from hot, to cold, to scalding, depending on the whether the guy three floors up is flushing his toilet or brushing his teeth. The water comes slowly, or way too fast, or sometimes not at all. This last situation can be very problematic. Imagine: you’re in the shower, all lathered up, and suddenly…no water!


This happened to me last week. I guess the hotel manager forgot to pay the utility bill. I had just finished rinsing the shampoo from my hair, was applying the conditioner, and…spurt, dribble, dribble, tinkle, drip, drip, drip, then nothing. No water. Jesus! Now what? I stood there for a few minutes, hoping the gods of Mexican plumbing would think kindly of me, then finally knew I was screwed and stepped out of the shower, my hair full of conditioner and my eyes burning.

I had maybe two inches of bottled water left, having drunk the rest the night before in an effort to stave off a looming hangover. I leaned over the sink and poured the remainder on my head but this only served to create a nice lather. Shit.

I called down to the front desk but there was no answer. Of course. Two hundred pissed-off guests were surely calling, all at the same time, and I’m certain the Mexicans there were hiding under the reception desk. I tried to wipe the conditioner from my hair with a mildew-scented bath towel but succeeded only in looking like a middle-aged Alfalfa. Finally I moved to the last resort. Grabbing a coffee cup from the desk (lucky for me the maid remembered to leave one), I removed the lid from the back of the toilet and rinsed my stupid head with toilet-reservoir water. Life is great sometimes.

When I got back to my room that night, it was flooded. I’d forgotten to turn off the shower before I left, and sometime during the day they got the water back on.

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