Recently we saw an episode of House Hunters International taking place in Lyon. (I know. Très cool.) The huntress was an American student about my age the age I think I am. One of her requirements was that the apartment have a bathtub. I totally get that, being a bath girl myself.

When I lived in Senegal before, in an apartment without a bathtub, my friends let me come over and take a bath in theirs as a special treat on Christmas Eve. It was wonderful.

We had a tub in the house where we lived last year, but not enough water pressure to fill it. I tried once shortly after we arrived and got about two inches of water, but it took so long to get there that the water was just this side of lukewarm by the time I got in.

My only other attempt was when I was eight months pregnant. It. Was. So. Hot. And we were having both a power and water cut. I was about two miles beyond miserable. I dumped our bucket of reserve water (about 100 degrees at room temperature) in the tub then added two large frozen bottles of water to cool it down. I sat there sobbing and dumping ice water over my head until I was shivering, loving every icy cupful.

Considering that was my last attempt at a bath in Senegal, I decided it was time to give it a go in our new apartment. It’s been in the low 60s at night here, which feels great, but can be chilly when you don’t have a way to warm up indoors. Perfect bath weather.

After Pape went to bed, I started running the water as hot as possible. It was a healthy trickle and fairly hot. Fifteen minutes later, it was a tired, warm trickle. (I tried not to think of how much it felt like someone peeing in my tub.)

That’s about when Cheikh put on his superhero cape and saved the day. Twenty-five minutes and one big, stockpot of steaming water heated on the stove later, I had my bath.


And it was wonderful.