My intention in moving to Costa Rica was to experience a very Henry David Thoreau,
Walden Pond life. As he said in Walden Pond,
“I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and
spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave
close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
It was thus that I found myself in Quebradas, Perez Zeledon, on the banks of the
Quebradas River, in a small, sweet cabin which I share with my terrier. And I
have a “Suicide Shower”.
My guidebook had described them as showers where the heater is built right into
the shower head and usually appear to have been installed by a drunken monkey.
Of course, the idea behind these inventions is to provide hot water where the
plumbing system does not run to a hot water heater — like almost all of Latin America.
Pretty Waldenesque, for sure.
My suicide shower looked like a large electrical time bomb which hangs above your
head with visible wires connecting it to the power source. WOW. I’m pretty sure
I learned in grade school science not to mix water with electricity.
My solution to this situation was to shower in flip flops with a dry towel nearby to
use to adjust the temperature. The shower is made by Lorenzetti Company (more
on them in a minute), and the truth was that the three settings: a blank dot, a half
blank dot, and a dark dot, made absolutely NO difference in water temperature.
The temperature was controlled totally by adjusting the flow of water through the
heater. My choices were a stiff, cold shower vs. a warmish, drizzly one. And I
certainly didn’t want to touch the dials while I was wet.
Lorenzetti Ducha Company is a Brazilian company with 80+ years of experience
in manufacturing electrical appliances for homes and industries. They are based in
Sao Paulo, Brazil, and export to 40 countries on 5 continents. Certainly they would
not electrocute this Gringa!
The electric shower was developed in the 1950s by Italian brothers Lorenzo and
Eugenio Lorenzetti, and became their most successful product. I am also a product
of the 1950s — I must be safe with this device.
Somehow, I grew to trust the “widow-maker shower”, and stopped bathing in flip
flops and turning off the shower with a towel, until last week, when the shower
stopped heating altogether. Although I live in the tropics and long to be Waldenesque,
a nice hot shower makes all the difference in my quality of life. I need it.
Happy Ending: My neighbor Tomas, who really could handle Walden Pond living in
every rugged nuance, installed a NEW Lorenzetti Maxi Ducha, and what do you
know, I am able to control the temperature like a pro with no fear of barbequing
myself. Even my dog enjoys an occasional hot shower. LIFE IS GOOD. Much
better in Quebradas than on Walden Pond.