My wife, Alison, can attest that I am comfortable amidst a high degree of grunge. She will also attest that I am occasionally possessed by urges to wash windows and scrub floors. One such mania overcame me this week.
My house mate volunteers and I at the Nepal Childhaven Home are collectively responsible for cleaning our own living space. The others here have all signed up for a longer tour of duty than me. Hence, they all have more responsibilities with the children. So I was happy to assign myself a day for cleaning.
The men’s bathroom screamed out for attention. Like many bathrooms in Nepal–it does not have a separate shower stall. You could think of it either as lacking a separate stall, or as being a large shower stall that includes a toilet and sink. It’s mostly tile and the acoustics are great.
The previous afternoon I made a pilgrimage to “Places”, a restaurant in Kathmandu famous for its excellent wifi connection. I was able to download the latest sermon pod-casts from the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa. A.J. Galazen’s sonorous tones reverberated off the tiles as I scrubbed away, listening to his magnificent sermon on the trials and opportunities of aging.
Above the sink was a glass shelf supported by a metal frame. I removed the shaving and teeth brushing implements. Removed the glass shelf, submerged it in soapy water, Scrubbed. Rinsed. Dried. Replaced. Easy Peasy!
The mirror above the shelf required more effort. I took it down. Sprayed, Polished. Repeated. Repeated. Repeated. Then repeated a few more times before I was satisfied that all that could be done, had been done. Carefully I reattached the mirror, checking that it was held firmly in place.
Then on to the windows and light fixtures in the common room. Twenty minutes later I was standing on a chair, reattaching a glass light fixture when there came a crashing explosion. My first thought was: World War III has stared! My second thought was: Earthquake! My third thought was: better check the bathroom.