Squeaky clean

August 11th, 2008 § 1 comment

Last night we received an email from a newly made Mongolian friend, John, asking if we have had a nice foamy bath now that we’re in Korea. I wonder if we really smelled so bad that this is one of his main questions or if he just has a nicely sardonic acceptance of Mongolia’s deficits–specifically, the lack of convenient access to bathing facilities and hot water.

Having just got out of the shower moments ago, I am reveling in the thought that I have been squeaky clean for 4 days in a row now, with a bathroom ‘en suite’ and a toilet I can sit on if I choose to, toilet paper provided by someone other than myself, and access to a hot water shower whenever I like.  When we departed Mongolia, I was going on day 6 without a shower, wearing the same clothes I’d had on since my last bath. I am so thankful the immigration officer at the Seoul airport didn’t ask me to take my bandana off when checking my passport–he’d asked the gentleman ahead of me to remove his hat and upon seeing this, visions of my 6-day-old, greasy bed head on display popped into my head and worried me that I wouldn’t be allowed into the country.

Benjamin and I were both embarrassed to enter Korea as dirty backpackers, especially as the Korean people are crisp and respectable in the appearance. On the flight, Benjamin told me he couldn’t cross his legs because if his foot left contact with his shoe, the foul odor the pair had developed would waft throughout the plane’s cabin and possibly kill or maim his neighbors. I can attest that this is not an exaggeration. Our second night in Seoul was spent scrubbing both of our pairs of shoes with a bar of soap and toothbrush.

Here’s a photo of us as we left Mongolia:

§ One Response to Squeaky clean

  • BKBK says:

    It is funny how the mind plays tricks on you with smells….my shoes were only 2 days into stinkyness…I have no comment on the number of days Cheryn’s shoes had borne their fetid existence….but I know it was longer than her last ablutions. 😉