Last night, I took a bucket bath.
When I was traveling in India, hand sanitizer was not in everyone’s purse. I carried alcohol prep pads. And went through them rapidly.
Most hotels in India do not have (or didn’t have) hot water in the rooms. If you were lucky, you could get your own hole-in-the-floor room that you wouldn’t have to share with any and everyone in the joint.
But for a hot bathing situation, you paid 10Rp for a bucket of hot water. The lady of the kitchen would heat up some water and usually, her son would bring it up to you, with some tea and toast. If you remembered to ask for a stagger, you could have your breakfast brought to you after your bath.
The signature pail in India is a green or red and white marbled plastic pitcher with a handle. Most bathrooms have them, since wiping your ass with toilet paper is considered nasty.
A clean pail comes with your bucket, and if you shop for your travels, you have your own clean one.
First dip, wet your washcloth…
Soap up baby.. and then pail yourself a first rinse.
The last rinse, the one where you get to pour the remaining hot water over yourself…
The best… so warm, and so refreshing.
When I was in Mcleod Ganj, (The home of HH Dalai Lama and a very large settlement of Tibetans and the tourists that follow them smattered with some western Buddhists) I rented a room by the month. It was beautifully located in the collar bone between two mountains in the foothills of the Himalayas, the Kangra valley stretched out below.
Close friends next door, close friends upstairs and lots of time to meet new ones.
There, you could pay 25Rp for an on demand hot shower. You had to go down to the bottom of the building near the Dobie Wallah (laundress) banged your jeans on a rock to get them clean. Switch on the hot water heater, and wait for a half an hour or so. You couldn’t be impatient though, because if you were, it was in vain, not hot enough for your 25 Rp…
I have added a little video of a typical Indian Toilet. I couldn’t hear the sound though, over the din of Starbux where I am sitting charging my phone and my computer after Hurricane Irene…
I really miss India.