Why don't the French use shower curtains

Oct 14th, 2014, 08:14 AM
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Seems as though many here have high water pressure if you can't control water flying over an entire bathroom. Does the shower head fly around like a garden hose?

Can I assume no one has the little hand held sprayer for their kitchen sinks as well, due to the water getting all over the kitchen too?
apersuader65 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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Agree that to americans this is one of the mysteries of life. May have something to do with showering and washing hair every day - and needing to keep the rest of the bathroom dry (towels, robes, all of the toiletries and toothbrush/paste over the sink or on counters - as well as TP).

I know some showers are movable rather than fixed - but this makes it very difficult to wash hair - for which you need 2 hands.

Obviously this somehow works for europeans - but I don't know how.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 09:06 AM
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While my first experience with a wet room was in Europe, my long experience now is in Asia and where I've come to love them. I love the feeling of not being enclosed, not unlike the pure joy of swimming nude or showering in the woods. If you've never done any of those then maybe it's time. After years of showering in the various Asian permutations of unenclosed showers I've never had the experience of getting anything wet that wasn't designed to be wet, including the tp and towels and whatever is hanging on a hook at the far end of the room in my Asian guest houses. Maybe some of the unbelievers here need to get out a bit more, go native and give it a try.
MmePerdu is online now  
Oct 14th, 2014, 09:25 AM
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Me, too. I have a friend who swore he couldn't figure out how to get "really clean" in a bathtub with handheld shower head. Given that he wasn't exactly digging ditches, I have no idea what he meant! Not to mention that many Europeans think showers aren't properly cleansing on their own. Customs vary.

Why? Use the shower head to wet your hair. Put it down. Lather up with two hands, scrub away, then take the shower head and rinse your hair. Easy, I think, no?
NewbE is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 11:01 AM
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Go native in Asia? right..go ahead, stand over that hole in the floor.
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 11:59 AM
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Just got back from a restaurant here in Paris with that , and it wasn't Asian, and it wasn't a take out joint either...I just couldn't make myself use it, and had a very uncomfortable 20 minute walk to our hotel! But I'm in Paris, so it's all good!
sugarmaple is online now  
Oct 14th, 2014, 12:13 PM
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Our home in the Netherlands had no shower enclosure, but the toilet was in a separate little closet. The room was large enough that you could hang your clothes well out of the line of spray.

I've seen a few hotels in Italy where the entire (rather small) bathroom was a shower stall, and I've sometimes had to remove the toilet paper to the bedroom to keep it dry. In those cases, I dress and undress in the bedroom.

Here's another burning question: why do Americans think the bidet is French, when hardly any hotels in France have one? I've never seen an Italian hotel without a bidet. Even the toilets in restaurants often have a bidet.

If I ever move back to the US, I'll have to have a bidet installed. I couldn't live without one now.
bvlenci is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 12:20 PM
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"It isn't just France, few hotels anywhere have shower curtains because they get moldy and gross."

I must live in an alternate universe, where almost all the hotels I stay in in the US have shower curtains and where few if any are moldy and gross.
Nikki is online now  
Oct 14th, 2014, 12:24 PM
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Some hotels use tightly woven canvas shower curtains which they launder when the guest leaves.
bvlenci is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 12:29 PM
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"...I'll have to have a bidet installed."

About half the planet has water available alongside the toilet, hole in the floor and otherwise, so that's another possibility, instead of another fixture.

If some posts above are any indication, you know the ones, it would seem one can have too much experience, apparently a bad thing. I would not, however, trade places.
MmePerdu is online now  
Oct 14th, 2014, 12:59 PM
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Wet rooms are very fashionable. http://bit.ly/1Dad20o
ribeirasacra is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 04:10 PM
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No not at all easy to wash your ahir that way for a woman with fairly long hair. You need to

1) wet all the hair
2) apply shampoo and suds using both hands
3) rinse hair - using one hand to shield your eyes and the other to fluff the water through the air
4) apply cream rinse and wring through hair
5) repeat step 3

Doing all this while continually turning the water on and off - and figuring if you have the right temp (or laying the sprayer down in the tub and the water going who knows where) just really doesn't work.

At home we have high ceilings so the shower head is about 9 feet in the air - and gives you a wonderful quick wash and rinse - doing it per steps 1 through 5 above would take about 3 times as long to get first all of the shampoo and then all the cream rinse out of the hair.

Now I have been coping with these weird showers for more than 30 years - and thankfully they are becoming much less common - as more and more showers have glass doors - or some even curtains - or perhaps I'm just going to better hotels..
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 05:47 PM
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This is a very entertaining post. Sugarmaple, was it Polidor in Paris? We go there every time we visit for nostalgic reasons. Further, when we were in Austria some years ago, they used the napkin pigeonholes that Polidor has (or had) and we only got one napkin for the week. It's called adaptation, which we humans do fairly well. I will make a point of checking out shower curtains when travelling but usually they are not gross or I'd put it outside the tub area. Our travels are not determined by shower-curtain-status.
aliced is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 06:12 PM
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I think I will travel with a shower curtain from now on and a duvet, once my wife explains to me again what that is. It sound French but it sold in every mall.
IMDonehere is online now  
Oct 14th, 2014, 07:10 PM
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It's a hilarious thread! Oh, the poor dears--European showers are so weird, and Americans, it seems, so uncoordinated!!
NewbE is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 11:34 PM
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About half the planet has water available alongside the toilet, hole in the floor and otherwise, so that's another possibility, instead of another fixture.>>

we first encountered the hand-held shower attachment next to the toilet arrangement in Sri Lanka, MmePerdue. It was only on the way home on the plane that it emerged in conversation with DH that he thought it was for cleaning the lavatory.
annhig is offline  
Oct 15th, 2014, 12:37 AM
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What kerouac said is true - bathrooms are not well-ventilated, mold grows overnight, and the water in Paris is so hard that you would have to wash the shower curtain every 2 days, to keep it clean. Since most washers here are small and take a couple of hours to do a small load, this is simply not convenient for most residents, so we either learn to do without a curtain, or spend a fortune and install one of those glass panels - which have to be cleaned and dried after each use. Most people have busy lives, so learn to shower correctly.

The main issue is water pressure - don't turn the water on full force, and it won't splash all over the place. Keep the showerhead close to your body, or stand as close to the wall as possible. It's not as invigorating as what you're used to, but you won't have to mop the floor. Also, don't stand in there all day - the less water you run, the better.

Hotels send out their laundry, for the most part, but changing the curtain every two days or between guests would add extra cleaning time and cost - which would be passed on to the clients. The glass panels are much easier to clean, but most cleaning services use a toxic chemical that disinfects and removes calcium deposits. I would much rather deal with a little water than inhale that stuff.
manouche is offline  
Oct 15th, 2014, 12:57 AM
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I have visited Paris numerous times and did not realize it was in the middle of a swamp. What could otherwise account the rampant mold and mildew. We have always had a shower curtain and mold and mildew, can easily be taken care of with something called cleaning.
IMDonehere is online now  
Oct 15th, 2014, 03:32 AM
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We go in the shower to clean ourselves yet the shower curtain then requires cleaning? Non-sensical. Just toss some shampoo on it and rinse. You'll hear the shower curtain singing.
colduphere is offline  
Oct 15th, 2014, 03:37 AM
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>>The main issue is water pressure - don't turn the water on full force<<

A low-pressure shower is like kissing your sister. It meets the definition of the word, but offers none of the joy.
vincenzo32951 is offline  

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