As if it is not bad enough that the weather is cold and miserable, the battery in the water heater up and died just after I started showering. And it had beautifully cruel timing too, cutting out just after I’d gotten all wet, but before I had shampooed and soaped up. The only thing worse would have been if it had cut out while I shampooed and before rinsing. So I had to dry off, get dressed again, find a battery, go outside on the back balcony to change it and poke it until it would work again, then back to take a shower again. Grr.
Americans are probably used to the kind of water heater where you have a big tank in a closet or garage somewhere, and the water heater keeps a nice 30 gallons or so of nice hot water on hand for whenever you need it. These usually have an always-on pilot light and do not need electricity to operate. In Taiwan we have small tank-less heaters that are also gas powered, but do not have an always-on pilot light. They are a small box about 2.5 feet high, 1.5 feet wide and 8 inches deep. You need to put in a D size battery to fire the pilot light and control the logic. When the battery fails, the heater stops working. And since there is no tank to hold the nice hot water, it is a very abrupt and sudden failure.
And as an update to my last entry, the other factor it is so miserable when it is cold here is that my dear wife insists on opening windows for fresh air even when it is cold. 🙁