Cleanliness is Next to Godliness


I have never realized how much truth exists in the saying, “cleanliness is next to Godliness” until this past week. Seriously. I cannot begin to describe just how beautiful water truly is. As you read this post, I want you to appreciate every second you turn on a faucet and something actually comes out…because that is not always the case for most people around the world, including me.

My new obsession: water.

My new obsession: water.

For the past month, I have been living with a family in their house. They generously allowed me to stay here until I could get my feet on the ground and eventually I will move out (oh yeah, I just made a payment on my own apartment…pictures to come. It’s super ghetto!). The family has been in Myanmar for the past couple of weeks, so I have been alone, but many of the neighbors drop by during the day. Last Tuesday was the day of the Mary Poppins umbrella incident (if you didn’t read my previous blog, go ahead and check it out). The day after Mary Poppins, I had yet another embarrassing moment. It was pouring rain while I walked home from the bus stop. One of my neighbors was kind enough to lend me her umbrella, so I happily took the offer. I decided to stop by the store on my way home to buy some eggs. In Thailand, you buy your eggs individually and they put them in a small grocery bag for you. So there I was, walking home with a couple of eggs in a small bag, when I walk down my rainy driveway that has transformed into a small river…and slip. And fall. Not just a little “oops, that was a close one” fall, or a “ah, I look so cute when I fall.” NO. It was a “ba BAM!” kind of fall. One second I’m walking, and the next, I’m lying on my back with my feet straight up in the air. I landed on the umbrella…so it kind of broke. Awesome. Breaking two umbrellas in two days has got to be a record. And the best part? You remember how I was carrying eggs in a small bag? Yeah, well those eggs decided to break all over me. My shirt looked as if it was ready to be cooked into a fresh omelet. Let’s not even mention what my pants looked like….mud, water, egg shells…it wasn’t cute at all.

So I quickly jump up, look around to see if anyone is watching (I really hope they didn’t see), and run to the kitchen faucet. I turn it on…nothing. I run to the bathroom faucet. I turn it on…nothing. I run to the outside hose. I turn it on…nothing. I decide to just put my clothes in the washing machine, so I change and throw the shirt made of scrambled eggs into the washer. I turn it on…nothing. This was the moment I had been dreading. I go to my neighbor and ask her what is wrong. “Ye ma shi bu” was all she said…(that means “have no water” in Burmese). Awesome. Luckily, it was still raining, so I was able to take a rain shower and scrub the eggs off of me. The next couple of days was fun and exciting…I was able to collect enough water in a bucket to wash my clothes. Finding enough water to flush the toilet was another story…but luckily I found a small stream to collect water.

I actually found a stream to flush my toilet! Yay!

I actually found a stream to flush my toilet! Yay!

Innovation is key! I have found unique ways to stay clean…like knocking on the doors of my neighbor’s house and saying “I have no water. Shower?” (Because that’s all I really know in Burmese).

I appreciate bucket baths so much right now. The fact that there is actually water in the bucket made my day when I went to my friend's house.

I appreciate bucket baths so much right now. The fact that there is actually water in the bucket made my day when I went to my friend’s house.


One thing I won’t miss when I leave Thailand: squat toilets.

It’s been pretty interesting seeing how I can get around with barely any water. Yesterday, it finally rained again and I was doing a happy dance as I watched my empty bucket become not-so-empty from the beautiful and glorious rain falling from the sky.

On Sunday morning, I turned on the faucet and WATER CAME OUT! I almost cried. I had never been so happy in my life. I’m not kidding…it was quite possibly the greatest moment of my life. Forget all the amazing moments I’ve had in my past. This was undoubtedly the MOST AMAZING time in my life. Water is so so beautiful.

Of course, that moment was short-lived. I just came home Sunday night only to find that the water has disappeared yet again. Nobody knows why. Oh well, I’m back to square one. Here’s to more innovative thinking!

I tell this story to illustrate to you why water conservation is so important. People don’t appreciate water as much as they should. They listen to songs in the shower, they keep the water running while they brush their teeth, they rinse their dishes way too much before putting them in the dishwasher, and they have water balloon fights (come on, guys. I know it’s fun and all, but it’s a waste of water!).

All the water I had to wash my clothes, my hands, and my dishes. Just practicing some awesome basic hygiene right here!

All the water I had to wash my clothes, my hands, and my dishes. Just practicing some awesome basic hygiene right here!

So next time you turn on your water, just think of your beloved friend in Thailand…who lacks clean water…and appreciate every drop of water that you use. Because tomorrow, who knows? You might not have any water. That’s my request for you.

On a side note, I forgot to mention that I actually slip quite frequently on the rainy driveway. At least twice a week, I fall. I only noted that one incident because I was carrying eggs.


When it rains, this driveway transforms into a small river…it just loves to sweep me off my feet every now and then!

Apparently several of the neighbors have seen me fall on multiple occasions. In this neighborhood, people talk…a lot. You could say gossiping is their hobby around here. If I ever told a secret, it would be out within 5 minutes, not even kidding. Anyway, someone saw me slip and fall, so the next day (because everyone knew about it within 24 hours) I wake up to find 9 guys doing construction on the driveway. I asked them what they were doing. They simply told me that they had to fix the driveway because “We don’t want our beautiful foreigner to fall and hurt herself.” Any American guys reading this? Yeah, you should learn from Burmese boys. They know how to make a girl feel special. They worked for hours and eventually built a gutter that collects all the water from the rain. Now, when I walk home with my eggs, I can skip and sing happily all the way home!

One thought on “Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

  1. Awww, that’s really sweet of those Burmese guys to fix the sidewalk for you! This post is definitely thought-provoking. America is blessed with so so much that we don’t even think to appreciate–things like water flowing from faucets at our beck and call. And as for the squat toilet (or squatty potties, as we like to call them where I’m from), you may yet change your mind. Seeing what happens to public Western toilets in countries that mostly use squat toilets just might do it 🙂 Personally, I prefer the squat toilet.


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