Sao Paulo is quite chilly in the winter months, which is just about now. Yes, I’m originally from Chicago, where things got cold. But guess what, we had heat inside our homes. Maybe Sao Paulo doesn’t get as cold as the midwest and northeast regions of the States, but it gets cold. With no heat in the apartments, it’s the same temperature sitting in your home as when you are sitting on the sidewalk. In fact, in our apartment, it’s COLDER than the sidewalk.
In addition, we discovered too late that our apartment did not come equip with a water heater. That’s right folks. No hot water. We take electrically heated showers. On top of all this, it seems the electrical system in our building is not the most powerful. So here what happens if I want to give my daughter a bath in the winter.
Step 1. Must heat bathroom using a small electric heater. We only recently made the purchase of the electric heater. At first, I lamented not getting a much bigger heater because this little one only has so much power. Then I realized that even the little one is a strain on the system. So when I turn it on for any extended period of time, I have to make sure that we are not running any other large appliances, like the television, or it blows out the electricity in the apartment.
Step 2: Fill the bathtub. In my previous life, this was no big deal. Turn on the hot water and wait maybe ten to fifteen minutes. But here, we must take many precautions. Because we are filling a large bathtub with a small electrically heated spout, I must be certain that all the lights are off in the house. That only the very basic electric needs are met, like the refrigerator. Or else it blows out the electricity in the apartment. And the tub takes about 45 minutes to fill. I also heat up two tea kettles of water, twice, to maintain the warmth of the water during the process. Important to note – never run the hot water and the heater at the same time. This will result in the creation of a blackhole that will suck us all in and drop us somewhere in Thailand.
Step 3: Quickly deposit child in the bath before the water turns cold and turn the heater back on. Nope. No long leisurely baths for anyone in the winter.
I never thought I would long for the day when I, or my offspring, could take a nice, warm relaxing bath. Or stay warm at all. For if we want to stay warm on those chilly night, we must gather around the small electric heater, in the dark.
Let me tell you something, living in the third world certainly makes you appreciate all the things you previously took for granted. So all of you living in the west, please, enjoy a nice warm bath for me.