A few days ago I visited a hotel for a work review and when I was looking at the rooms I noticed that they all had baths. This is unusual, so I pointed it out to the hotel representative “Oh!” he exclaimed “Of course we have a bathtub in every room, we have many many Japanese guests. Japanese guests like to take a bath”.
If this is indeed an actual fact, rather than hotel myth, then hurrah for Japan! Despite living in a country where the thermometer frequently hits the high 30s, there is nothing I love more than a hot bath when I’m feeling unwell or stressed. Sure, I sometimes feel a little faint from all the heat, but when I eventually cool down, I always feel much better. Obviously somewhere in my fuzzy brain there is a association between baths and comfort, a little slice of cosy that is impossible to find in Bangkok’s air-conditioned interiors.
Of course bubbles are great fun, but the reason that baths are so exciting is because here in Thailand, having your own tub is a HUGE deal. Many flats in Bangkok don’t have them, so when we were looking for somewhere to live last November I was excited to find a one bed with a proper bath. In fact it may have swayed my decision to pick this flat, despite what I tell people about the extra window in the living room… Who cares about light, if I keep the blinds open during the day it’s like a greenhouse and I have close them again at night to prevent any weirdos/neighbours looking in.
What I need in Bangkok is a bath!
It’s a bit of a pain in the mornings as the shower is over the bath and the boy has stubbed (well, he claimed it was broken…) his toe clambering over the edge to have a shower. Some people think it’s mad, and can’t appreciate the joys of fancy bubble bath, and others think it’s a bit gross to hang around in your own dirt for half an hour. I just tell them about grandfather used to bathe in disinfectant – although I am not sure if this helps me look sane or just makes people think that craziness runs in the family.
As my bath is not very beautiful, I will share a picture of one in Hotel Muse in Bangkok:
I hope that one day I will also have an Adams Family inspired bathroom like this.
I think a lot of expatriates bring a habit, or item from home that does not quite fit into their new surroundings. I’ve seen men on the sky train in tweed jackets and watched people countdown to their PG tips delivery. I packed so many things that I never used, tried and failed to keep up with British soaps and like to pretend that Bangkok is as easy to walk around as London, even when I am dripping in sweat and jumping over soi dogs. Sometimes a little taste of where you come from, however mad it may seem to other people is enough to keep homesickness at bay.