It was a bluebird, but it wasn’t. Yellow, red, green and turquoise. Downright gaudy? Or admirably colorful? A bird? No. A thirty-year-old Bluebird bus discarded by the U.S., with a heap of baskets and people riding on top. We were on our way to Antigua, Guatemala.
Our fourteen dollar room WAS a fourteen dollar room. No windows, no pillowcases, not enough blankets. Not pretty. But it came highly recommended.
And what was that inside the shower? A 110-volt knife switch: an electrical switch in which a flat metal blade, hinged at one end, is pushed between fixed contacts. There was also a white bucket that hung upside down with electrical wires sprouting out of it. All of this hung from a metal water pipe.
I was about to take my first electric shower. Electricity and water don’t go together, right? How does one do this? Should I call the front desk? There is no front desk.
Instead, I threw the Frankenstein lab knife switch on. With great hesitation, I stood outside the shower and cautiously reached in to turn the water on. As a dribble, it was warm. But turn the pressure up, it turns cold. What a choice! To further adjust the pressure, one must step outside the shower. Remember that,
If you plan to travel anywhere in Central America (on the cheap), get used to this. It’s standard setup and standard procedure. Just don’t touch anything metal!
Your life could depend on it.