Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hot showers with cold water or cold showers with hot water?

Our roof-top

Sorry. I know that talking about the weather is a bit boring, and it seems to suggest that someone has nothing else to tell - and I apologize for this. But it is undeniable that since last week the weather conditions in Delhi have become a fixed idea in my mind. 39 degrees. Every day. And my (Indian) colleagues that, sniggering, keep on repeating: “This is nothing. You should see in May or June”. If this was meant to frighten me, well they have fully succeeded…

Anyway, while I have to confess I am a bit scared by the perspective of spending the next six months with temperature ranging between 45-50 degrees (every single day for six months!), I also keep on repeating to myself “If they can bear it, I can bear it as well”. Autogenous training? Perhaps…

For any problem, there is a solution - I was taught. A couple of days ago I had just come back home hot after a ride on my scooter in the Delhi traffic, and I thought that there is nothing better than having a refreshing shower to refreshen up myself. As I automatically do, I mixed cold and hot water, but, strangely, the temperature of the water was boiling. I progressively closed the hot water tap thinking I made the wrong mix, but there were no changes in temperature: the shower was still burning. Depressed, I gave up after a few minutes.

The following day I told the episode to a few friends of mine, provoking ironic giggles: “Obviously, this is your first Indian summer”. Bruno, a veteran here in Delhi, explained me that our water is collected in water tanks on the top of our roofs (ref. picture above): thick tanks of black plastic. Well, certainly a great invention - but the one who decided to install them on the roof-tops of the houses of Delhi is definitively not a genius! These tanks, radiated uninterruptedly for 180 days by the Indian sun, act like a pressure cooker: the water inside literally boils.

My facial expression must have said more than any word could have said, while the perspective of not having a cold shower for the rest of the summer progressively pervaded my mind…

But here the ‘importance of local knowledge’ comes. Bruno reassured me explaining that there is a simple trick to keep on having cool (if not cold) showers. To switch off the boiler (the water heater) and use the water from the boiler, instead of the water from the tank, to have cool water.

Smart, isn’t it?


  1. Very smart indeed!
    Good luck, my friend, e non dire che non ti avevo avvisato...
    Ciao e.

  2. ma noi milanesi abbiamo la pellaccia dura...

    mi ricordo un'estate a milano: luglio 94, mondiali in usa, italia-nigeria 2-1 ai supplementari (doppietta di baggio in recupero!), a fine partita (verso le 10.30-11 di sera) inquadrano piazza duomo in festa: 38 gradi! e noi avevamo visto la partita in un sotto-tetto dove ce n'erano almeno 45!

    (e il giorno dopo esame di diritto privato ;)

  3. Pittura di bianco i serbatoi.
    Qualche grado (in meno) lo guadagnerai.
    Qui fino a ieri 10°C - questa mattina 6°C....

  4. be', che dire: un ottimo modo per risparmiare corrente elettrica: acqua calda a volontà quando ne hai bisogno e acqua fresca comunque disponibile...
    bevi tanto e portati in giro bottigliette d'acqua prima di rimanere disidratato!

  5. come procede l'inarrestabile innalzamento delle temperature? ti dobbiamo spedire un po' di ghiaccio?

  6. da qualche settimana siamo fermi sui 42-43, tutto sommato sopportabili.

    quella del ghiaccio non e' una cattiva idea...