Discussion bath water

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by SerialBeggar, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. SerialBeggar

    SerialBeggar Well-Known Member

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    I was reading a story with the typical scenario of an team returning to their inn after several days of hard adventuring in the wilderness/dungeon/etc. So washing off is the priority of the moment. Some stories have the MC taking their bath in their room. We assume the team members take turns or they have their own bath tubs in their rooms. Note, I'm not talking about bath houses here.

    Now regardless of whether the bath tub was already in the room or is brought up the by the innkeeper, it is usually said that the tub is filled with buckets of water manually hauled in to the room. It's mostly well water, but hot water has to be heated over the inn's fire place. Several trips need to be made to fill the tub. I'm imagining a tub large enough for an adult to sit in.

    My question is: how do they get rid of the grey water after the bath?

    We know that the primitive setting of the story that there isn't any indoor plumbing. No fresh water taps is obvious, but no one ever considers that there aren't any drain pipes either and rented rooms are usually on the second floor. Do the inn workers need to be called in to haul out the grey water? And even if they did, where would they dump the water outside? No drain pipes means no sewers. I doubt the inn workers would want to haul the water over to a storm drain. While dumping one tub full of water out onto the back yard isn't a big deal, but what about if the half dozen members of the team also took a bath? That's a lot of water. The whole back yard would be a mud pit.
     
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  2. Olives

    Olives Professional Basement Dweller

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    magic
     
  3. elengee

    elengee Daoist Ninefaps

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    If a beauty bathed in it, you sell it per vial.
     
  4. Cyjuga

    Cyjuga Active Member

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    You could use it as a drink for people you don´t like:
    "Here our new SPECIAL water (don´t ask what´s inside, just drink)!"
     
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  5. ludagad

    ludagad Addicted to escapist novels

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    I suppose they threw the dirty water through the window, as was common in that medieval setting.
     
  6. Sayne

    Sayne if u read this u are a noob

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    They used egirl bathwater and it is common knowledge that that never gets dirty and smells like roses
     
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  7. Not Red Yet

    Not Red Yet Well-Known Member

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    Like that stupid woman did a few years back? :cookie::cookie::cookie:
     
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  8. peanutbutter_J

    peanutbutter_J Well-Known Member

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    That girl is abt to put p*** star on her occupation
     
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  9. KageTokage

    KageTokage Well-Known Member

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    It's thrown out the window or is carried out by the workers. Most authors do forget to get rid of the dirty water, so in that case a wizard did it.
     
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  10. Kaminomikan

    Kaminomikan 神のみ感

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    First I would say you are making the wrong image when they "take a bath" in their room (unless a really high class in with magic to work everything) just imagine the size of the room to include a bathtub.

    so when they say bathing in their rooms (unless specified in another way) is just using a pail, bucket of hot water with a towel. Which then is just tossed outside the window (the water) like in medieval times.

    so unless specified, you can assume that (whatever water is left) is just tossed outside the window, adventures living in an inn wouldn't be paying a high class one to have access to a "servant" to dispose of the water. Which also explain their happiness when finding a bath (in japanese novels)

    but if there is magic, then some lifestyle magic cleaning lvl 1 makes dirt disappear in a moment.

    edit: thinking about it made me remember that part in a novel (don't remember the name) where mc made some pipes where he put some portal to make the water come and go.
     
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  11. TamaSaga

    TamaSaga Well-Known Member

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    In a fantasy world, the heroes are strong enough to lift the tub and pour it out.

    In the real world, the baths that we know of were either much smaller and lighter, or the floor itself is designed to take water. Then you just drain the tub onto the floor.
     
  12. PaladinWolf

    PaladinWolf Well-Known Member

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    Ever heard of a chambermaid?
     
  13. Zeusomega

    Zeusomega M.D of Olympus Pvt Ltd. Seeking [Boltzmann brain]

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    City wide sewer systems are modern inventions, though many date back centuries they are modern.

    Back then, all the shits and wt not were either thrown on streets or were done by near river streams.

    Inns didn't facilitate more than a wet towel and a bucket of hot water.. These bath tubs were only limited to the rich and noble or private houses.

    Even then it was cleaned in the most simple way, you take them out in jugs or buckets to dump in your backyard or in the stream. Even your shit is handled like they would to any other cattles, thrown to the street, backyard, river.

    And this is the civilized way mind you, then the common way was to find a spot in the nearby woods to the common majority.

    Let's just say sanitation was not well defined then...
     
  14. SerialBeggar

    SerialBeggar Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Yes, I know that in REALITY, it's just a bucket or a little wash basin on a dresser. But I'm talking about IN NOVELS where the author states the MC is "soaking in a tub". That's the disconnect I'm pointing out.

    To have enough water to "soak in a tub" is a lot. What is that, 30 gallons minimum? Put that into a 2/3rd height, extra wide barrel as a tub, you may displace enough of the water to sit and soak. That's a lot of water to be tossing out the window with buckets holding (guess) 2-3 gallons. And a lot of work, the inn worker would be building up a lot of arm strength. (For reference, 1 gallon of water weighs 8.33 pounds, plus the weight of the container, of course)
     
  15. Kaminomikan

    Kaminomikan 神のみ感

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    well that's why I said that unless specified it is just tossed outside the window. Because how else could it be done? If there is no drainage, nor tubes, nor magic. the only plausible way left is that.
     
  16. Solus

    Solus 自分のことお嫌いです

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    Reminds me of CN novels when inn rooms are in 2nd floor. Good question, I only wondered how do they boil so much water rather than asking how they get rid of the water
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Gitami

    Gitami Well-Known Member

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    Some Renaissance houses have second floor protrusions above the street with a sidewalk underneath. The inhabitants would wait till a carriage is passed before giving a warning and dumping the waste water out.

    It is why there's the practice of guys walking on the outside to shield the ladies from the splashback.
     
  18. Jojo775

    Jojo775 Well-Known Member

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    You don't throw away Belle Delphine water, you sell it.
     
  19. VBS

    VBS Well-Known Member

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    I get the impression that in a lot of these, "taking a bath" = wiping your body down with a wet cloth that you soaked in a small bucket or shallow washbasin, as opposed to actually soaking in a large tub.
    A tub filled with multiple buckets may just be, for example: an 8 gal pan filled with 4x 2 gal buckets - which is something a single person can move around but not submerge themselves in.

    I always assumed the water was just left behind in the room and later thrown out by housekeeping during the day while the customers are out. Since the story follows the people staying in the room and not the housekeeping staff, the audience would never encounter this situation.

    An Inn in these stories is also probably a small facility with less than 20 rooms - not like our modern hotels with 100+ rooms.
    The water is probably not more than the plants in the garden can soak up. If there's no garden, they're probably just throwing it out in the street to let flow away the same way storm water would.
    Now if the author has set up a scenario where throwing the water out in the street would be the only viable option, yet there is no mention of the act ever having been witnessed, one might consider it forgotten. Then again, it could just be such a common occurrence that the protagonist/narrator doesn't consider it worth mentioning.

    Unless the character spent the whole day in their room and the housekeeping never came to remove the water, you can't really say that the author forgot about it. Not following events happening outside the field of view of the protagonist is normal.

    Novels explicitly mentioning a tub large enough to soak in either had a staff member with with the superhuman strength to carry it or an actual bathroom or bathhouse (facility with plumbing).

    So, I don't consider it an error from the author to overlook disposal of bathwater - an act of no concern to the protagonist that probably occurred while they (and the reader) were not around.

    Now if it's a story about someone managing an inn and never mentions disposal of bathwater that they are providing - then that's a problem.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021
  20. powwder

    powwder Well-Known Member

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    it's not something that's important so it isn't mentioned. this would be the same as cutting fingernails. never have i read about an adventurer cutting their fingernails but it's something all humans have to do.

    when things like this aren't mentioned it's assumed that it's taken care of properly in the background. if an inn has a bath, they have some way to get rid of the dirty water be it a simple drain that leads outside, throwing it out the window, or leaving it until a maid comes later and then removes it. hell the adventurer might take it out himself but just never mentions it....like the fingernails.