My first successful bathing experience has taken place at my current residence. Though I moved in halfway through December, I have avoided taking buckets baths because the bathing room is incredibly cold. I’ve instead opted to shower only when I visit Sisian in the showers of the apartments owned by other volunteers. The problem is that I may go up to two weeks (or more) without actually entering Sisian. To maintain minimal personal standards of cleanliness, I was my feet almost every evening and my head every couple days. Bavakan e.
But this weekend I visited another volunteer who lives along the road that goes to Sisian. I decided to walk back today, knowing it was a three-hour walk because I’ve done it before. After over a week of not showering and a three-hour hike, I felt like today was the day to finally suck it up and clean myself – vor vat hot chga.
The first step was to heat-up the bathing room with the electric heater. The room is normally freezing as the concrete walls and floor suck out all warmth, but after twenty minutes the temperature was bearable (taneli). The only reason it was possible to use the heater is because of the whole in the wall that allows a pipe to reach the water heater that doesn’t work (it needs to be heated by wood and be connected to unfrozen pipes). My water was heated on my wood stove and then brought into the bathing room. The act of bucket bathing followed. Loghatsi.
I now smell better than disgusting. Victory. Haghtel em.