So living in America, I was a pretty organized person. I might have clothes strewn across my room and old coffee cups in my car, but I understood the pleasure of having order in things. And when I cleaned, man, I would really clean something. Just ask my coworkers what happened when I would start projects. Bam! Done. Spotless. Shining. Brilliant. Chaos-free.
But now I am in Egypt.
Things may have changed a bit.
This isn't entirely my fault. Yes, I have gotten lazy when it comes to doing laundry, but hey, laundry is boring and I can go gallivanting around Gabel instead. A much better waste of time.
We simply don't have access to the same cleaning/organizational tools in Egypt that we had at home. The laundry machines are half the size of the ones in America, so you can maybe wash ten shirts at a time. And dryers don't exist here, so you have to hang dry everything in the backyard. It is a timely matter.
Also, we have been searching fruitlessly for an all purpose 409 type cleaning spray.
Nobody here even knows what that is.
The only cleaning product that is available is sulfuric acid, mixed with a few other chemicals. But it is almost just sulfuric acid in a bottle. I cleaned our bathroom with it a few weeks back, but some of it got on my hands and burned the skin off, and then our bathroom smelled like rotten eggs.
So given the choice of chemical burns and rotten eggs, or water spots in the shower, I take the latter.
Sara (the nurse and my housemate) and I had deep discussion about our lack of cleanliness and complete apathy towards hygiene.
And by deep I mean not deep at all.
We would note certain disgusting habits we have picked up, and the other's response is "when in Egypt!"
It has become our motto.
Why not leave an anthill in the bathroom? When in Egypt!
We felt that "when in Egypt" became too cumbersome to say though. Also, we didn't want to inadvertently offend any Egyptians who might overhear us. So we made an acronym: WIE
But this too was cumbersome. And teaching ESL has made me lazy with my speech. Give me a one-syllable word!
We abbreviated WIE to "dubs." ('dubs' short for 'double-u' for those who didn't catch on).
Now whenever we do something particularly distasteful by American standards, but appropriate here, we just look at each other and say "dubs."
I have stockpiled a list of things we "dubs" here. I promise I won't commit any of these atrocities when I come back to Oly. haha!

1) Our feet are perpetually disgusting. I constantly look like I just walked through a mud puddle barefoot. It is so dirty on the streets, and it is too hot to wear closed-toe shoes all the time, so your feet just get gross. Real gross. Real quick. I try to wash them at least once a day, but the floors in your house are gross too so you end up getting them dirty about .2 seconds later. My sheets on my bed have footprints on them... Dubs.

2) On the weekends they don't serve breakfast in the cafeteria, so the cafeteria gives staff "sack breakfasts" on Friday to last the weekend. Take a guess at what our sack breakfast is? Think of the last thing you would ever recommend anybody eat for breakfast. Or at all, for that matter... That's right: twinkies, hotdog buns, and chips. Oh, and a juice box. I drink the juice box because it makes me feel nostalgic. But the twinkies would bombard my stomach with 'nostalgia,' and therefore are promptly thrown out. Dubs.

3) The cafeteria doesn't give utensils for students/staff to use because they get stolen or lost, so everyone brings their own spoon to each meal. As I mentioned above though, cleaning supplies are few and far between here. So why not use the same spoon for every meal, and only "wash" with water and your grimy hands between each use? Dubs.

4) As I mentioned, laundry is the bane of my existence. Get away from me, dirty clothes. So like they say, if you can't beat them, join them! Why not wear the same dirty pair of pants every day for over three weeks? Everyone else is... Dubs.

5) We have small animals and insects that have permanent residence inside our villa. There are always ants in the house. At any one time, you will look at the floor and there will be about ten ants crawling across everything. Keep in mind, these are the disgusting ant-spider hybrids I mentioned in an earlier post. Also, there is a lizard that lives in our kitchen under our fridge. I call him 'Fridge Lizard,' and kindly greet him every time I enter his home. Dubs.

I'm sure my complete lack of cleanliness and/or care for hygiene will leave once I come home.
I can only hope it will, at least. Somehow I don't see girls nights being as much fun with my friends mocking the footprints on my bed.
Or if I continue to eat hotdog buns for breakfast.
It simply doesn't bode well.
So pray that I am able to fully revert back to my cleanly organized self upon re-assimilation!

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1 comment:

  1. Try vinegar, if it's available. Great all-purpose, natural cleaner!