2016 Entry 2 Baen Saen, Thailand: It’s Curtains for You!

Shower

I don’t understand this, but it is not the first place I’ve been to that had this issue! Why, in a modern furnished condo, is there no shower curtain? I suppose I could go out and buy one, but when you’re only staying  a month, I refuse to decorate the place!

I have been in homes where this has been the case as well, and I was paranoid about taking a shower because you had to  be extra careful the water would not go everywhere in the bathroom and leave everything soaking wet.

In the old days, I lived in a traditional Thai house with a totally cement bathroom complete with squat toilet. The ritual of taking a shower was easy enough to master back then. To begin with, you never kept much in there that could get wet. First of all, you would go to your room put on your flip flops and modestly wrap yourself in a towel or “pakoma,” sort of a long, rectangular piece of cloth that served the same purpose. You never took clothes into the bathroom when you showered as the clothes would be soaking wet if you did. After that, you went into the bathroom and found either a large jar or cement structure filled with water and a water dipper. You then started pouring the water over yourself. On a cool day with no hot water this could be, to say the least, invigorating! But you could splash yourself with water to your heart’s content! The floor was constructed on a slant with a drainage hole to the outside. (I also learned to make a quick inspection of the bathroom when I found a cobra slithering its way though the hole one morning!) After the shower you simply swept any excess water in the direction of the drain. No need to clean off anything else as there was precious little in there anyway. You dried yourself off, rewrapped yourself in the towel and headed for your room to get dressed.

Although that worked back then, here, for example, not so much! Although Spartan by Western standards, modern Thai bathrooms are filled with cabinetry of all sorts. The drainage concept is now more complex as there is a tub involved. There are drainage channels around the tub, but they are poorly constructed and all the water does not fall into the tub or even onto the floor to be eventually expelled by the drainage system. So here we have the necessity of using a sponge to push the water away from the edge of the tub onto the floor after showering, and then move the undrained water toward the hole. Finally, you need to mop the floor and wipe off the water-splattered cabinets and sink areas. A lot of extra unnecessary work if  you ask me!

Even when there is a curtain, as in a recent experience in Bangkok, it did not wrap around the entire tub so the water was still splashing all over the one side and making its way in rivulets along the floor.

I ask Thai designers now. Don’t you think it would be a lot easier to either put in a shower curtain or get rid the tub entirely and go back to the old system? Think of all that post shower mopping that would be eliminated by a simple devise called a shower curtain!

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2 Responses to 2016 Entry 2 Baen Saen, Thailand: It’s Curtains for You!

  1. kathryn lustig says:

    Hi Paul, I agree! Jay & I encountered a bathroom similar to the one in your picture when we stayed at a nice hotel in Colonia, Uraguay about 10 years ago I was perplexed at why they would have such a system that allowed water to run out of the bathroom & into the bedroom. Crazy!

    Like

  2. Kristin says:

    Perhaps they think it’s better than some of the moldy ones I’ve encountered in my travels!!

    Like

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