web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: Pergi Mandi!
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Pergi Mandi!

Let me own up to this disgusting habit : for the past week, I have neglected to shower before coming to work. That's right, I turn up at the office dengan tak mandi.

The thing is, I'm now staying with my mum, and because her house is not far from the office, I walk to work. I need the exercise anyway.

So I thought, nemain lah, just slap on something, bring along my clothes, go walk, then mandi once I get to the office. After all, Suhaimi showers at the office all time (if at all) , and we certainly have all the peripherals -- towels, two kinds of liquid soap, bath sponge thingy, a kain pelekat to change into, an array of moisturizers for every part of your body, and like, three tubes of toothpaste, some of which has calcified into stone. I thought it sounds like a plan.

The problem is, though, once I get into the office, I get sucked in by the PC, and the bath time is invariably delayed. The next thing I know, it's 2 oclock in the afternoon. In the beginning, I did mandi before I prayed zuhur, which if you know me, is just before Asar. The last two days, I went ahead and performed my solat without taking a bath. My body doesn't touch water until about 7.30, when I come home and need to solat Maghrib. I go down to lunch and meet people in the cotton pullover I slept in, with my hair a rat's nest, and my face oily and unwashed. It's a marvel people still speak to me. I blame it all on Suhaimi, who endorses this kind of behaviour, mainly because he does it, too.

So this morning, I decided to put a stop to all this. I had a good lather, wore decent, pressed clothes and began my jaunt, looking like an employable human being instead of someone who slept on pavements. As I crossed the road in front of my mother's house, a driver put his head out of his window and flashed me that gatal smile. At the next block, another two checked me out. As I climbed up the pedestrian bridge in front of my office, a guy waiting for the lights to change winked appreciatively, and probably looked up my skirt (thankfully, I wore nice undies). And just before I reached my building, men in a passing lorry made that annoying kissy sound that Malaysian neanderthals take to mean : hello, I think you're cute.

Now, I'm not exactly Elena Santarelli (you google her, God knows Saiffuddin did), I'm 38 and look 38, I have three children and look like I've had three children. My dressing is fairly makcik : a generic long skirt bought in Giant and a long-sleeved peasant blouse from Pasar Malam Taman Tun. If he weren't married to me, my own husband probably won't notice me in a crowd of people. So, all this attention because I took a shower? It occured to me that perhaps any woman walking down the street would get the same treatment, if she bothers taking bath.

That made me think : there is an edge to being ugly. When I was unkempt and unbathed, I was invisible -- I could just do what I was doing without being bothered. It's like what some animals do in nature, yes? I mean, I can be like the skunk or the warthog or the South African burrowing bullfrog, right? That decides it then. For my own safety and protection, tomorrow I shall once again neglect personal hygiene.

It's not like my husband's around, pun. He's in Jakarta, busy googling and oogling Miss Santarelli.


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