Iceland – The shared bathroom in the GentleSpace

Isafjordur is a small enough town that when Kaety went to book a room for the conference everything in the traditional hotel realm was full…so we found a room in one of two boarding houses. Our boarding house was called The GentleSpace, which for some reason cracked us up, “Kaety, the GentleSpace doesn’t like dirty clothes on the floor”.

The 4 rooms shared a common bathroom. It was a pretty rockin bathroom with heated floors and enough space to host a yoga workshop, but neither of us fully appreciated how complicated a shared bath could be.

When we arrived we got a detailed bathroom orientation from the owner. After our 9 hour drive I didn’t hear a word she said. I did notice all the slightly shaming signage urging you in ambiguous terms to ‘speed things up’. I wondered absently how competitively I’d fair in the common bathroom race and what the measure for success exactly was.

The most troublesome aspect of the common bath was trying to figure out if it was available. There was no place to hang out and wait that wasn’t weird.

We took to making our run at the bathroom a group activity. It would start in our room – one of us mentioning that going to the bathroom might be in the future. Then we’d lay in the bed until the need became urgent. It reminded me of camping where getting dressed and going out into the cold was so odious you would risk kidney damage.

Once one of us decided – a multi step prep began. Getting dressed to socially acceptable limits had to happen, then navigating a complicated skeleton key lock on the room door, then creeping down the hall and peering into the bathroom to see if it was occupied. The peering became part of the process after being surprised several times by the owner standing silently in the dark bathroom doing…something.

When all the bathrooming was completed we’d reverse the process.

Last night Kaety announced during one of many such forays, “Ok, I’m really OVER the shared bathroom thing now!”

I looked up from wondering if laying on the bathroom’s heated floor would be weird and said, “Kaety, the GentleSpace doesn’t like loud voices”

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