September 2, 2010

Showers vs. hot water in Europe

I just returned from Europe and my family and I miss it already. We miss the culture, the history, the scenery and the food. What we don't miss are the showers. Showers and hot water in Europe is a slight oxymoron. You tend to have greater patience and higher tolerance level when you are in Europe and quickly realize that not all places have the best of everything.

We, North Americans are spoiled when it comes to large appliances; fridges, stoves, washers and if you are lucky enough - compared to Europeans - you might own a clothes dryer. What stung most for us was not having hot water available when we wanted it.

When we call for hot water, we had to wait and when it did arrive, we experienced interruption (cold bursts of water). Those Europeans who have purchased a new home or who have recently renovated, have an on demand - water heating system. Those who don't, electric water heating are not an option ($$$), perhaps they have a good supply of firewood.

We have storage water heaters and for good reason. In need of a hot shower because you are stressed, or a quick hot shower because you are late for work, the last thing you want is to be adjusting the temperature because of pressure loss (someone else in the household is using hot water).

Going Green and saving money is GREAT! We now wash in cold: when our washing machine needs replacing; we replace it with a front load. Living costs money and harms the environment. Our busy lifestyles enable us to appreciate those little luxuries we have available to us each day and having that uninterrupted hot shower when we work so hard and long is why we "live to work". Ciao Europe, see you in a couple of years.