Nick Ang

The Underappreciated Magic of a Cold Shower

I’m growing up. Maturing. Definitely considered an adult now at 26.

As I grow a little older each day, I can feel myself grasping life a little better. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, even though there’s probably a kernel of truth in it.

What I dare say is this: with each passing day as an adult, I’m becoming more attuned to the pace of my daily life.

At 26, I’m finally able to appreciate the weather every day in ways other than “Oh man, now we won’t get to play ultimate.”

I’m able to tell the difference between today’s weather and yesterday’s. (Today’s was definitely much more comfortable than yesterday’s, with cooler temperatures but also an overcast sky that breeds melancholy.)

Little things like that.

Just as cool air brushing against my skin makes me smile (which didn’t happen much at all when I was pre-26 - then it would be a game of ultimate or Runescape), I’ve just started noticing how much I enjoy taking cold showers. Ahh, blissful cold showers…

Since coming home to Singapore from a month-long trip to the US, I’ve grown used to the cold, dry weather there. It was spring-but-kind-of-wintery when we visited. In Singapore it’s always (and forever will be) sunny and moist.

And even though I can live with the weather here (like I have for 26 years - I wonder how many times I’m going to say my age), I hate it. Can you blame a guy for not enjoying being sticky and smelling like armpits?

Cold showers are a godsend here. I take 3 short showers everyday now (since I’m home most of the time on my laptop). Sometimes I’ll take four. And I look forward to it every single time.

As I got out of the shower just now it hit me that taking cold showers might not actually be that commonplace a practice, even among my countryfolks. (The likelihood of a random man on the street who regularly takes cold showers is probably higher than that of a random woman because of our Army days, but very few people I know, even guys, take cold showers regularly.)

For one, my wife can’t do cold showers. Cold water—that is, water that is not heated but is also not deliberately cooled—is unbearably cold for her. She’d just stare at the water rushing down from our rainshower head and not dare to walk into it. For her, it’s the heater, every time.

I can imagine most people don’t take unheated showers either. I mean, nobody really goes “Ahh, all I want right now is a nice, cold shower.” Warmth has somehow become associated with niceness when it comes to bathing.

Perhaps it’s weird that I love cold showers, then. But I wish more people would realise how amazing it feels to cool the f* off with cold running water all over the body. Also, a big plus with cold showers is that it’s supposedly incredible for the body and mind. (I tried looking for scientific articles to back me up, but apparently a lot of it isn’t conclusive yet. That’s however not to say that the amazing feeling post-cold-shower should be passed off.)

We like air-conditioning here, but we don’t take cold showers. It’s just one of those things. Like sunglasses. When I was in the US, for every 5 people I’d see 1 in a pair of shades. In Singapore it’s more like 1 in 20. That’s irrational.

I mean, think about it.


| * United States



|-----------* Singapore ------------ (equator)




The horizontal line is the equator. That’s the imaginary line that demarcates the circumference of the Earth that is closest to the sun. In other words, it’s where everything is hotter and more humid than almost any other place on Earth (except in a volcano).

The US is closer to the north pole than the equator. Singapore is pretty much right smack on the equator.

Why aren’t more of us wearing shades in Singapore? I don’t get it.

But yeah, I enjoy cold showers and wear shades in Singapore. I like to think that that’s me appreciating the power of the little things.

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