Life without hot water

3 min readApr 5, 2020

I always rent my room nearby the office. Then even after working until late, I can quickly go back home and sleep. Also, I can come to the office on time, even when I overslept.

After our office moved to the current town, I also moved, after several rejected applications (in Japan, it’s challenging for foreign entrepreneurs to rent a house). Now the apartment is 20m away from the office. There, I enjoy my minimalist life.

The biggest concern was the gas supply. You may not understand it, but it is somehow very difficult for me to undergo the entire procedure, especially the scheduling with the gas provider (they need to come to my room to make the gas supply available). The others, e.g., electricity, can be done entirely on-line.

As a result, I have led my life without hot water. Usually, I would go to a gym to take a shower or a public bath. Besides, I am not in Japan for so many days, so the life didn’t torture me that much. When these hot water options were not available, I would do a short exercise until I sweat, and then took a shower with cold water.

I am ready to accept your criticism that how come I can’t undergo the procedure that the other millions can do.

On top of that, although they are living in warm/hot areas, most of our end customers live without a hot-water shower. I thought it’s useful to experience this sort of inconvenience as a reminder for my clients.

The problem was the last 1.5 months. Due to Covid-19, it became impossible for me to visit the countries where I work, and I ended up getting stuck in Japan only. I also can’t go to a gym or a public bath, given the higher risk of infection.

As a result, I needed to face the daily cold shower.

My life became like that of a stoic monk. Whenever I get up, I do 20 minutes yoga (yes I started it recently) until I sweat, and then with a warmed-up body and iron-like mind, I would take a shower. The morning temperature of Tokyo in the period is always below 10C.

It was so cold that I made a concession. I bought a hairdryer, the culmination of human civilization.

Granted, I am ready to accept your criticism that how come I can’t undergo the procedure that the other millions can do.

There was a setback. Every quarter, I would run, take a bath, and have dinner with one of my shareholders. On a day, the public bath was not open, so I proposed him to take the cold shower. He smiled and rejected my offer.

Ashamed of complete lack of common sense, I determined to make gas supply happen to my room. It took a few additional weeks until I finally make the appointment. Finally the task “open the gas” is gone from my Trello task list. The gas supplier will come to my room in several days.

Again, I am ready to accept your criticism that how come I can’t undergo the procedure that the other millions can do.

A few days ago, when I was undergoing my daily shower routine, an idea suddenly came to me. I thought it’s a good idea to let the water in the hot water channel flow, given that the water might be getting dirty.

I ran a hot water tap. The water was clean, on the contrary to my prediction.

However, I felt like the water got warm. I know. I often experience this kind of illusions, as I get on the escalator that is not working.

After 30 seconds, the hot water did come.

… why?

It is perhaps the most confusing moment. Is it mercy from the gas supplier who feels sorry about my plight? No that cannot be the case.

I watched a hot water tank of my room. In a plain gothic font, there was a writing.

“Electric water heater”

I am now feeling the most intense sense of futility.