Missing my bathroom PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 14:36

By REMEDIOS F. MARMOLEÑO

I have been back at home for some 10 days now. Travelling and being in a  setting other than one’s usual surroundings is a good stimulant for the body and the brain. It keeps one from losing all those gray cells from a lack of stimulation. And I hope it keeps decrepit old age at bay.

It is strange but I find that whenever I get back home I find that among all the parts of my house I am most happy to be using again is my bathroom. Now my bathroom is not one of those House Beautiful rooms, fit for Cleopatra and her milk bath. I do not even have a bath tub. But over the years I have put in all the little items that make a bathroom practical. There are enough pegs to hang clothes from. The towel bar is right there. And there is the familiar space on which to put down  my shampoo bottle and reach for it  even when my eyes are closed from all the suds. Sometimes even a ritzy hotel bathroom cannot provide the familiarity of  one’s own bathroom, one that I have used for many years and in which I know just how far to extend my arm to reach for the bar of soap or how far to turn the faucet to control the amount of water flow. And this is what I mean when I say that being in another setting stimulates the brain.

When I am in Phnom Penh I stay in a house where the bedroom  for my use has its own bathroom. While it is quite convenient and well appointed, it still does not have the same number of pegs as my own bathroom at home. So taking a bath always needs pre-planning – which change of clothing do I leave on the bed, etc.

I have learned a few tricks for travelling  as far as bathing is concerned. One, I always use a toilet kit with a strap handle; the strap allows me to hang the kit from the door knob of the bathroom door, in case there is not enough shelf space on which to set down the kit. Two, I never bring along a shampoo bottle. I either take along shampoo saches or buy the shampoo  when I get to my destination. That way I avoid seepage of the shampoo in the kit, which can happen because of pressure differences while in the plane. Third,  I travel with thin towels or those  smaller than the regular towel  size. That way I minimize “stale smelling”  towels. Many bathrooms do not have good ventilation that allows towels to dry while hanging from the rack. This can result in a “smelly” towel even if it has been used only once.

I probably sound odd to some people, writing about how I miss my bathroom at home when I am on a trip. Okay, we are all entitled to our individual idiosyncracies. I have mine but am sure you have yours too.

One thing though that I did not miss while I was away from the Philippines for a month:  all those reports of millions of pesos having been squandered, stolen by some government offices. These reports I did not miss. But there was little else in the papers in the days since I have been home. More on this next time.