Adventures With Art

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Art has travelled to many exotic locations in the world. Some of the stories he tells make you glad that you are just reading about them and not experiencing them. Sit back, relax and enjoy the next chapter in Adventures with Art.

Hot Water, Every Time!

In England, despite their wind, oil and nuclear power, the people are very frugal with that power. perhas an island mentality or a habit developed during past difficult times. If you want a hot shower in the smaller B&B's or pensions, it can be a challenge. You feed coins into a machine that creates hot water "on demand." A meter ticks away as you lather up and get ready to rinse off. Just as you are about to rinse the shampoo out of your eyes, the hot water ends and you are hit with a deluge of amazingly cold water, that could have been pumped right out of the North Atlantic ocean. I think the British would call it "a bit brisk." I call it frigid and may still have some goose bumps to prove it.

A few years ago I was island hopping in the Mediterranean on the Greek Islands. The Greeks are a very hospitable folk and take good care of visitors to their lands.

I stayed in small pensions as I traveled, arranging accomodation on whatever sandy shore I happened to land. On one island I noticed a sign outside a small hotel which read, Hot Water Every Time. I stayed at that lodging and the sign proved not to be quite true.

If you are not familiar with how water is heated on the islands, it is very simple. Water is pumped into a barrel that is painted black and mounted on the roof. This barrel is scorched under hot sun all day. By late afternoon or early evening it is brimming with hot water. Now your accomodation has hot water.

I soon discovered that late-comers form the afternoon beaches were doomed to no hot water, as their fellow travellers had emptied the barrel through their showers. The water woudl arrive icey cold down your back from deep wells in the island. Yes, it was "refreshing" but I seldom could stand it long enough to quite get all the sand and salt off me. I soon learned to come back a little earlier in the day to get some of the good solar-heated water.

Years later, as I step from the shower in my own home, I think how fortunate we all are in our simple daily luxuries; a phrase runs through my mind, and remembering the warmth of the Greek Isles, I smile to myself and say, "Hot water every time!"