Dirty, dirtier, dirtiest


A continuous struggle when one is traveling is staying clean. When you bike, you get sweaty. When you eat, you get sticky. And for your socks to start smelling like a piece of cheese that has been forgotten for several months, you do not have to do anything. In spite of the difficulties, we try to somewhat keep our dignity. However, it is quite challenging to keep up with Antoine. He gets dirty much more quickly than I can clean. Don’t get me wrong, for being a man I think he is doing a good job. At least he has the intention to keep his shirt without spots of jam. And I have gotten used to the toothpaste on his face (we do not look into a mirror very often).


  1. lamisil oral online
  2. lasix online
  3. levitra online
  4. lexapro online
  5. lioresal online
  6. lipitor online
  7. liquid rx plus online
  8. lopressor online
  9. lotensin online
  10. mevacor online
  11. multi vitamin online
  12. neurontin online
  13. nexium online
  14. nolvadex online
  15. norvasc online
  16. pamelor online
  17. paxil online
  18. plavix online

Every four days, maximally six, I need to do laundry. If we are not in a hotel or a campground, I boil some water and wash in our little foldable sink. This works for washing ourselves as well. In Europe we take `waterbag showers`. In Morocco I cannot not even bike in shorts because that would be inappropriate, so showering in someone’s backyard is not an option. But taking the sink into the tent works too. For the days that we do not have much time, there is the `baby towel shower`.
Last week I was once again doing a lot of laundry. This time we were in a campground and someone lent me a bucket, so that should have been easy. As the afternoon passed by and I was still scrubbing, rinsing and wringing, I was suddenly SO done with it. I just have to let it go. Staying clean enough not to get sick is definitely a good idea. Trying not to smell when we are among Europeans makes our life nicer as well. But since we are with African people most of the time it does not make much of a difference. The average Moroccan does not have a shower, since many of them have no running water. About once a week they go to a hammam. They take an hour to wash and very thoroughly scrub themselves. When they come out they are definitely clean. This is also the opportunity to brush teeth. The fact that most Moroccans brush their teeth so rarely sometimes leads to awkward situations. We do like to brush our teeth very regularly, but in a house without running water that’s kind of hard. Especially if the family you stay with does not have the habit of brushing teeth.
This non-habit combined with the amounts of sugar Moroccans use, make twenty five year olds lose teeth. By the time they are forty they have none left to chew with. One time we met a woman with perfect teeth: they were fake. One fourteen year old had a toothache. Her parents are now saving money to have the tooth pulled. This costs 150 euros, they told us. Others say you pay 15, but even that is three weeks of work in the fields. Anyhow, you do not want to go to a dentist in this country or probably anywhere else in Africa. All they do to solve a problem is pull teeth. On the market (soukh), without local anesthesia of course.
So whenever we can we brush our teeth. If not possible with a family, we bike away in the morning and stop around the first corner. We would do anything to avoid the African dentist.
As I am writing this we are in Sidi Ifni. Our campground is thirty meters from the ocean. Once again I washed bike shorts, underwear and a lot of socks. By hand of course. I have not seen a single laundry machine since we entered the country.
Being on the road, camping in dirt all the time and never having clean nails make me appreciate our weekly shower a lot, even when it is a cold one. Too bad that after one day of biking everything is dirty again ;-). I will survive.

2 Reactions to: “Dirty, dirtier, dirtiest”

  1. 1 Marian Febvre

    What a great description. I couldn’t help but wonder about these ‘nitty gritty’ details which are the reality of your daily lives now. Thank you for letting us picture and understand them.
    Love, M (&P)

  2. 2 Jose Blezer

    Hi Chantal and Antoine,

    It’s always a pleasure to read about your journey. I really admire that you make a trip like this. But also compliments for your way of writing about it. It makes it fun to read and we do learn a lot.
    I hope you keep doing well and will follow your trip.
    Love Jose

Leave a Reaction

You must login to post a comment.