(Click for super grande). I'm traveling in Central America. I took this snapshot in a K'iche' Maya village in Guatemala where people bathe using a traditional tuj (Maya sweat bath of hot rocks and steam and herbs). I think the family whose home this is in installed it for visiting aid volunteers from the US, a long time ago. But they only get running water a couple times a week for a few hours at a time, and it's full of pathogens, at that. Perhaps in part for that reason, the family themselves never ever use this thing. Guess what? I can assure you that I will never ever use it, either.
See how the electric wires go right into the incoming stream of cold water, to heat it up? Yeah.
A friend who lives in Costa Rica says they have 'em there, too, and they call them "suicide showers." Am I just a big old scaredygringa, or do you also find this gadget terrifying? Boing Boing readers, if you've seen these contraptions (or have used one and lived to tell), I'd love to hear your harrowing tales in the comments.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.