Thursday, December 24, 2009

Think of England

posted Wed, 02 Feb 2005

I’m in a boring meeting at work yesterday, admiring my red wool boucle Benetton suit from Italy that I got on eBay for only $23.87 when I notice something on my thigh that shouldn’t be there. A long piece of dark hair is trapped under my pantyhose.

Oh ick.

I am not a squeamish person, all my fainting to the contrary. It takes a lot to gross me out as long as tripe, my own blood or eyes are not involved. I have peed in really disgusting conditions, including the public restroom at the bus station in La Paz where the toilet was nothing more than one of three holes in the ground next to each other. I had to balance over one of the holes with my backpack on my back because I did not want it to touch the ground. An old Aymara woman and her little granddaughter watched me in fascination.

I have eaten horsemeat. Knowingly. I didn’t want to, but was forced into it for diplomatic reasons.

I think three seconds is way too strict a time limit for food on the floor. Three minutes is OK with me, although I do keep a very clean house, so it’s not like my floors are disgusting. The rule might vary in someone else’s house.

I have stayed in nasty places in Latin America – the “Fs,” for those of you know The South America Handbook. Some of these places doubled as ‘love hotels’ that rented by the hour. Apparently, no one but me cared or maybe even noticed that the sinks were encrusted with mildew, soap, toothpaste, whiskers and who knows what and that the showers reeked of urine. Sometimes it is a really good thing not to have perfect vision.

My point is that I really don’t get bothered by a lot of the things that bother other people. (I do, however, get really annoyed by things that no one else minds, like when a news reader says, “has pleaded” instead of “has pled.”)

But I don’t like other people’s hair touching my body when the hair is not attached to the other peoples.

It is one of the few things that grosses me out. In the pool, I have positively visceral reaction to being brushed my stray floating hairs. The ones that have coalesced to form hairballs repel me – I will stop in the middle of the deep end to try to push them into the next lane rather than risk the chance of touching them.

And I had to sit there, in this meeting, looking at this hair – I don’t think it was mine – I think I must have picked it up in the locker room at lunch when I was changing clothes (they do not clean frequently enough in there) – on my body.

Oh, the suffering.

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