Finally - a basic comfort for grim and grimy Cantabs
By Chris Barclay of NZPA
6:38 PM Tuesday Mar 1, 2011
After seven days of anguish, four minutes of bliss.
For hundreds of grim and grimy Cantabrians one simple pleasure was finally accessible today - a shower to at least wash away some of the discomfort a week after an earthquake turned their lives upside down.
Spreydon's Pioneer Stadium was one Christchurch location offering temporary relief in a shipping container turned ablution block.
Between 9am and 4.30pm the unclean inundated the facility - relishing the opportunity to feel, as one man, put it "a thousand times better".
The container, divided into three male and three female cubicles, went on stream yesterday; gas heating units were installed today to enhance the experience.
At full capacity 72 people per hour funnelled through; the shower curtains were open even later as news spread.
For Herman Toailoa, a supermarket butcher who crossed town from liquefaction-hit Linwood, the time consuming journey was worth every second.
"It was only five minutes but it was great, he said after he'd spent the day helping dumping $100,000 worth of rotting meat.
"I heard about it on the radio last night and that was me."
University of Canterbury psychology graduate Shawn Lim wandered over from across the street for his first decent wash for four days.
"I was in my friend's house but they've moved to Masterton three days ago," he said.
The 24-year-old was hit hard by the September 4 quake when his family home in Mt Pleasant was classified as uninhabitable, yet that hardship was put into perspective by the city's next savage quake.
"My professor's dead," he said. "She died in the CTV building."