In the bath when the lights go out? Awkward.

So, about that bathtub.

Despite all the little gnatty flies that seem to accumulate in any tropical room, I swat them away and start running hot water into the bathtub to wash hours at the Shanghai airport and the plane ride off my skin. The tub fills nicely with bubbles, and it’s pleasant to lower myself into the warm water.

I made a cup of tea with the room kettle and put that on the edge of the bath. I figured on reading in there and just trying to relax away the first day of travel.

Then, there’s a zipping noise, like someone closed a loud Ziploc baggie. A fizzle. And … the bathroom goes pretty dark save for a small window above the bath/shower.

I jump when the room fills with shadows, thus knocking the hot tea into the bath with me and nearly scalding my side in the process.

The electricity has gone out. Since I just finished filling the bath, I thought for sure it was my American compulsion to consume as much electricity as possible just filling the bath with hot water. With a sheepish grimace, I try to get up carefully, wondering how fast it will take the hotel staff to find me guilty and come knocking on my door.

Then, I look at my phone. No WiFi. Since the WiFi isn’t in my room, I thought it might have been the hotel’s electricity all gone out. I mean, I couldn’t exactly be responsible for everyone’s electricity going out, could I?

When no knock on the door comes, I get back into the bath because heck, the water is still hot, and I need to try to relax – again.

I finally decide to get out not much later, though, since it’s still uncomfortably dark in there. The power comes back on, and I feel around in the soapy water to let the water out of the bath.

I can’t get the stop to open up. I try with a nail file, but no such luck. I sigh, wondering how this could happen to me again (it had in Bangkok not long ago).

But the worst thing is, the tea had fallen into the bath, and it’s turned the water an interesting shade of pale yellow. It looks awful … and I can’t get the water to go down without asking a housekeeper, no matter how hard I try.

According to Google, there is no translation available for this conundrum.

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