Thursday, February 26, 2009

How people bathed before showers...

In my last post I wrote that we didn't have a shower or running hot water when I was a kid. Since some people have been curious about it, I decided to share the story here too.

The house where I lived as a kid was built by my grandfather when he was young. Actually, I lived in a room in which my grandmother gave birth to my father. Anyway. The house was built before running hot water or showers were common. But they had a sauna.

And so did my parents when they moved in. The sauna wasn't inside the house so you had to go across the yard to get there. It was in the same building as the bulls that my father raised for living. So when you went to the sauna, you could actually hear the animals making noises. They used to scare me when I was a kid.

And when you needed hot water, you heated it. In the sauna we had a special stove for heating water. You put a fire in it and on the top you had big water container. It's still there but I don't know what it is called. We also had two large tubs in the sauna. They were used for mixing the hot water less hot with cold water. I liked to play in the tubs because I was small enough to fit inside them. If we needed hot water in the house, it was heated in a huge pot.

And how we bathed? We went to the sauna, bathed in the sauna, used the warm water and soap to wash ourselves and we rinsed the soap by pouring water on ourselves. It was simple and there was nothing medieval in it.

In 1996 my parents decided to upgrade the house. I guess they finally had enough money for it. Anyway. My father built an indoor sauna with an electric stove, a proper bathroom and a hot water system. I was about ten years old so I remember it really well. It was so exciting to go the the indoor sauna for the first time. It felt like luxury.

It wasn't odd to live without a shower or hot water. I did bathe several times a week and since I was a kid, I wasn't even so concerned about hygiene. It was normal to me. Nowadays I would suffer if I had to live without shower. I just feel dirty if I don't go to shower every morning. It's a bit funny actually. To transform from no-shower to shower addict.


  1. :D :D :D No kyllä mä oikeesti arvasin miten sä suurin piirtein peseydyit. Kunhan pelleilin.

    Kiva postaus silti. Sonnisauna. :D

  2. Very interesting!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. :)

    - Cesia.