Cleaning the Onsen

Cleaning the onsen in this hostel is nice. The process is methodical. First you fill a bucket with water and add soap. Then you slosh the soapy water around with a brush. Once the soapy water is nice and foamy, you dip the brush and begin scrubbing the floor. You scrub every inch of the floor, and then wash away the soap with cold water.

The onsen itself is extremely humid, so every small action generates sweat, which eventually just seeps down your face and drips on to the floor. Sometimes the drain on the floor is clogged, and you have to reach down and delicately pinch up glob after glob of slimy hair. Then you might stand up and admire the steaming water of the bath, and, shimmering in the sunlight, notice a pube skimming across the surface. 

I don’t really mind any of this. I clean the onsen and reflect on how I have a college degree and yet I’m scrubbing toilets in Japan. This is just the sort of thing the Stoics would have approved of, for what good is an education if you haven’t really left the classroom? I think about such things as I scrub a shit stain off of the inside of a toilet bowl.

5 comments

  1. Jennifer H Anthony-Bogue says:

    Glad there were enough clues for me to figure out what an onsen is. A good skill to bring back home with you.

    Like

  2. Liz says:

    You ever hear about me thinking it was Todd who had used the toilet? Bad story. Not full of globs of hair though. Ugh

    Like

  3. Lily says:

    I can’t wait for you to bring these cleaning skills home with you, give mahd a break from cleansing the onsen in our bathroom 🙃😉

    Like

  4. Lisa Cheney says:

    wax on … wax off

    Like

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