Even though there is NO shower curtain to protect his sensibilities.
News Flash: Fahim HAS no sensibilities.
And no, that is NOT a euphemism for something else.
Fahim washes his sarong in the shower while he takes a shower. Fahim would not be considered strange by the rest of the Sri Lankan population.
Fahim has told me that many people shower with sarongs on to cover their various and assorted body parts. Even in the privacy of their own homes? Yes. Oh yes.
I haven’t mentioned this before – oh, there are so many things I mean to mention but never get around to mentioning because I don’t write them down when I’m out and about. I see them often enough that I figure eventually I’ll get around to it.
This is one of those things.
I first noticed it oh, in the first month I was here.
There are two water spigots I pass on the way to church. Well, okay, there are many more than that, but these are two in particular that I notice on a regular basis.
They seem to be neighborhood spigots because there are quite a few people who use them.
Said water spigot is basically a metal pipe rising out of the ground, and it’s perhaps a foot to a foot and a high. One tap – cold water only. And it’s oh, say a foot inside of the side of the road.
I’ve seen people wash their dishes, wash their hands, and yes, even take showers using it.
Taking a shower using a water spigot?
No. I’m not even kidding about it.
I’ve seen old men – scrawny old men, short scrawny old men, wearing nothing but a sarong – using it. I’ve seen women – wearing, again, nothing but a sarong – but this time, tied just under the armpits instead of around the waist – using it. I’ve seen young people using it. I’ve seen all sorts of people using it.
When they’re showering, they’ll fill a bucket with water, dump it on their heads, apply shampoo or soap or whatever. Lather away. Then fill bucket again and again, dumping it again and again over their heads, to rinse off.
Doing dishes there, they bring their dirty dishes in a plastic bin, wash everything, including the bin, and rinse it all off. All crouched beside the water spigot.
And all of this with people – lots and lots of people – driving by in cars, trishaws, bikes, and all other forms of transportation that exist here.
What conclusion can you read by this behavior?
Not all houses have running water.
And this is where I’m inclined to say, uh, what do they use for washroom facilities?
So Fahim washes his sarong in the shower. This is a common occurrence. Apparently, I’m not the prude I thought I was.. Evidently, everything is relative.
And, by the way, that white cord that’s cutting his body in half is the electrical for the washer, which hides behind the door. I was doing a load of laundry at the same time.
And no, we don’t have a shower curtain. There’s no place to put one. And not everything here bothers with trivial things like shower curtains, anyway.
For those people, that is, who have showers in their homes.