I am beginning to understand the Nepali obsession with sweeping and pouring water on the footpath. At first i just thought it was quaint, then I found it curious, now i know it is a necessity.
Recently I have become really focused on cleanliness. At home no one would mistake me for a clean freak. I am generally regarded as 'untidy' by my family.
Here it is impossible to stay clean. In winter i didn't notice so much because my arms and legs were always covered. Now that it is hot i am obsessed with not looking like i rolled in the dirt. Bucket showers are not as effective as i first thought, there just isn't enough water to get clean.
My skin is really pale and i shower, i promise i do, I scrub with a plastic brush trying to get the dirt off but by the time i walk from my house, through Thamel, to my office i am covered in a thin coating of brown dust again.Sometimes I will go to the bathroom halfway through the day and look in the mirror only to find my face or neck covered in dirt.
Washing my hair has become a lengthy process. It takes two attempt before the water runs clear.
Also many bathrooms aren't exactly private. The lack of glass in windows mean any ground floor bathrooms are pretty open to the public. I have learnt to wash with most of my clothes on. The other day i showered in my tshirt, shorts and flip flops, without even pausing to think it was weird.
I don't know how women here keep their homes and children clean. All of my white clothes have turned brown. If i had to do laundry at the river i swear i would need new clothes every week. I just cannot get my laundry clean by hand.
I feel dirty and I don't like it. **pout** Yes I am aware I sound like a tourist.