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I forgot the art of showering in cold water

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A surfer showers off on the beach in Cardiff, California.

A surfer showers off on the beach in Cardiff, California.

Credit:

Mike Blake/Reuters

On my recent trip to India, I relived the old days by bathing in cold water. I was staying with my parents, and they have a small water heater that holds just enough water for a quick shower. But one day it broke, so I decided to use the cold tap water.

Why not, I thought; this is what I did every day when I was growing up in India.

I always took cold showers. It was difficult until I poured the first mug of freezing water over my head. After a quick shiver it wasn't too bad. The trick was to get in and get out of the bathroom as fast as possible. I would close my eyes and drench myself. Then I'd lather with lightning speed, rinse off, grab a towel and get out.

I did this every single day of my life until I left for the United States.

When I moved here, though, I learned that showering wasn't something you did in a hurry. You could relax as the warm water fell on your head. I've gotten used to the idea of enjoying a shower, especially in the winter.

So when I poured a freezing mug of water over my head back in India, I wasn't prepared. I had forgotten the art of showering with cold water.

The first touch of icy water made me shriek. My parents yelled through the door to ask if was OK.

I heard them, but couldn't get my voice out. I began to lather up, but my hands wouldn't move fast enough. I took a deep breath and somehow managed to rinse. When I got out and got dressed, I swore to myself I'd never do it again.

It's official: I have gone soft. But so has everyone else in my family. They all shower with hot water in winter, even when it is not so cold.

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