Sunday, 10 January 2010

freshening up in a tiny booth

Not being one to let my personal hygiene suffer from less-than-ideal accommodation, I found a practical workaround to the showerless and sinkless (apart from the one in the bog) environment I was destined to live in for the night.

I am posting this not to brag, but as an advisory to any other traveller who finds themselves in a similar predicament: hygienic satisfaction can be achieved with the most basic of equipment, as long as you are willing to think outside the box and be a bit unorthodox (that rhymes!!!).

The first issue I identified was the unsmellly (a term I just coined based on the word unsightly, which, when broken down, is 'un-name of sense-ly': un-smell-ly) state of my shoes. Two weeks of consistent walking around, often with heavy luggage, combined with a growing period of time since my last shower was the cause of this problem, and luckily, two weeks of gaining experience in the travellers mindset, combined with my pre-existing genius, led to the solution.

I first looked at the resources I had available to me:

  • Ice cream
  • Ice cream cones
  • A selection of cold beverages
  • A selection of hot beverages
  • Soup
  • Hand sanitizer wipes
  • Spoons
  • Stirrers
  • Flavoured teabags
  • Water: boiled
  • Water: cold
  • Paper cups
  • A selection of magazines
  • A selection of DVDs
  • A selection of manga
  • Foam slippers
I then took 1 hand sanitizer and 1 flavoured teabag per shoe (hence, 2 of each), opened the hand sanitizer packaging, placed the flavoured teabag inside, and placed 1 newly-crafted shoe deodorizer in each of my shoes. The logic was that the sanitizer would act as a sponge and soak up any unsmellly smells, while the flavoured teabag (strawberry flavour, for the record) would replace the unsmellly smells with more un-unsmellly ones.

I'm glad to say it worked: it would be a lot more embarrassing to explain if it hadn't!

The second issue identified was the declining condition of the skin on my face. This, unfortunately, was caused by my travelling diet, which had recently consisted largely of McDonalds (oops...). The solution to this problem was a lot less creative, so I'll keep it short: I got a couple of hand sanitizer wipes and rubbed them all over my face, then put them in the bin.


The third and final issue was the fact that I needed to clean my teeth (twice a day keeps the horrific gum diseases away!). Now admittedly I could have just walked to the bathroom with my toothpaste and toothbrush, but I didn't want to extinguish my hygienic creativity, and so searched desperately for a more blog-friendly alternative. From the inventory above, I took 2 paper cups, and filled one with water. I then took these cups to my booth, placed them on the desk, and brushed. The empty cup was the receptacle for toothpastey saliva, and the water in the other cup provided the means by which I rinsed my mouth. Rinse residue was then added to the toothpastey saliva receptacle, and I drank the rest of the clean water, then placed the receptacle cup inside the now empty water cup (in order to reduce the space taken up by waste).

Clean as a whistle.

Also, this was all done in a booth no bigger than 3x6', which had in it a chair, a desk, a computer and all my luggage.

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