Monday, January 11, 2010

Other kinds of clean

Moms, meet an entire culture which also guilts their children into believing cleanliness is next to godliness. Cleanliness here dictates religious and social order, from which hand you use to eat (right), which hand you use to "clean yourself" (left) and when you wash yourself in relation to prayer times. I accept these customs, but fail to understand why every hygienic product available is made of Kleenex-type paper. No Bounty. If you need a paper towel it is a large Kleenex. Napkins are Kleenex. Kleenex are Kleenex. I'm guessing it's a king of Spain lisp thing. Some Sheikh somewhere used Kleenex as a paper towel and the rest of the country agreed rather than suggested a more durable alternative to Kleenex for every household use possible. That or when wells run dry they sputter out Kleenex.

'Feel it' is right. Feels like every other paper product, this on the back of Kleenex brand toilet tissue.

I did discover a sturdier product in the personal hygiene aisle. The Cool & Cool Magic Tissue is an interactive hygiene event. This pellet, when moistened, turns into something else, in this case, a disposable dishrag type cloth.

This engineering marvel is the size of a dirham, which is to say it is the size of a US quarter dollar. According to the copy on the package, you can actually CONTROL the temperature of the tablet-turned-dishtowel by choosing what temperature of water you rehydrate it with.

I rehydrated my Magic Tissue with cold water. This produced the effect of a cold towel. It's temperature did not fluctuate remarkably after it was rehydrated, and the towel performed all of the duties I would expect a damp personal towel to do; occupy my time for one minute, successfully pick up some dust on my dresser and occupy Nick's time for one minute while we discussed the qualities of the towel.

No personal cleaning products or fascination with them in the world wipe away the uncleanliness of dogs in this culture. Mohammed didn't like dogs, I'm told. In addition to being unclean animals, they keep angels out of houses. Black dogs are especially bad luck. The only dog that has made it into a piece of culture here is the Saluki, a beautiful, lithe hunting dog that one of the Sheiks has devoted time to repopulating to its former elegant status. My lay research on the internet suggests there are about 800 Salukis in the UAE, and everyone has to register them so they're not improperly bred.

This little desert dog showed up at the villa a couple of days ago, dirty, terrified and hungry. I've taken him under my wing, because I have a heart (that's going to break when we have to leave him behind). I bathed him yesterday and observed him; he acts like a fox that has had the stuffing beaten out of him so many times he'll probably never fully trust humans in his lifetime. He is a nervous, smart sweetheart of a dog. I am considering finding a way to bring him back and get him into foster care in the states. For now, I'm just keeping him clean, fed and comfortable, trying to 'feel it' in my heart to forgive a culture that tolerates abuse of animals.

1 comment:

  1. Let me know if you need any doggie products sent to you!



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