Monday, January 04, 2010

More on the Nigerians...

I'm back at the Shalom Hotel for an 8 day sojourn. I'm on the 16th floor. I've got a great view and were it not for the 10 minutes (minimum) that it takes to get up there, it's totally fine. No, I'm not walking up 16 flights -the elevators are so slow you would think that they are running on solar power available only on a cloudy day.

And the elevators are tiny, which means that they can hold six people max, and maybe 8 if two of them are children. If anyone has a suitcase or large backpack, assume five or less. But given the size of the hotel, cramming people on to one of the three small elevators is almost an Olympic sport.

Which is an unfortunate problem when there are also other hotel guests with serious body odor on the elevator. I just can't hold my breath that long. There. I said it. I know it's not a nice thing to say, but as my mother will attest, it is not the worst, by a long shot.

I have a few theories as to the persistence of the aroma.
  • 1. This is the smell of their home..
  • 2. This is the smell of Israel and they are reluctant to wash off the holiness.
  • 3. They are not accustomed to regular bathing.
  • 4. They are bathing regularly but do not have access to clean clothes.
And evidently I am staring at theses particular guests too much. I was in the dining room last night with two colleagues and had to be told repeatedly to stop being distracted (by my boss, no less!). I can't help it. As a community, they are all dressed in the same fabric. In this case, it was a bright purple and green fabric that had big pictures of Jesus on it at (what looked like) 10 inch intervals. I saw this fabric used for tunic, pants, shirts, dresses, skirts and head wraps. Poor Jesus! Given that I was being admonished for staring, I was unable to also take pictures.


Anonymous said...

Well, it ISN'T polite to stare, but it also isn't polite to admonish, (unless by your mother) and "yes", I will attest that you've said worse.

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