Monday, 17th November 2003
My business trousers need replacement. I'll never be an enthusiastic shopper, but it's doable when guided by van D my regular clothing advisor. The hunting grounds are limited to one shop that offers a wide range of choices, even in my size: Christiaan B. in Haarlem. Enter the shop, pick, try if needed, pay and go. Half an hour of shopping suffices for another year.

It's progressing nicely. The loot consists of three identical pairs of trousers, some business shirts and a few T-shirts for the coming sunny winter holiday. Done! I get back into my old outfit, grab my shoes and feel shit. Damn! Somewhere in the street I've must have trapped into dog shit. My sole is full of shit. My left hand is covered with daubs. What to do?

socksock Socks are perfect for this kind of situations, a travel mate in Vietnam once taught me. They are far from your nose, don't attract too much of attention and go for laundry at the end of the day. So I wipe my hand clean using my left sock. It is only half a success. The shit smell remains. With one smelly hand I leave the dressing cubicle and head for the pay desk. It is tricky to pay using just one clean hand, but I manage.

Outside van D invites me for a dinner. O yes, I'd love to. The Thai restaurant Roeng Ruang (Krocht 10a, 2011 PT Haarlem) looks inviting.

Nice, this Thai food, but my shoe sole is still full and my hand is still smelly. This needs to be solved before the tasty dinner starts. I need a cleaning action, preferably now! Van D gives me an understanding smile while I head for the toilet. She knows my clumsiness for years.

A bit of soap gets my hand clean first. That is relieve number one. Next, I try to clean my sole with toilet paper. It is not working.

Is that a toilet brush there in the corner? That thing was designed as an effective weapon against shit. It is a dirty job, but it gets done. Thanks to the brush the shit is off down the toilet. The toilet is now covered all over, but no problem. Toilets are made to flush. If ever I run into shit, I'll immediately go for a toilet and brush.

I clean my hands again and step out with great relief. We'll have menu number 4: spring rolls, peppered chicken soup, chicken with cashew nuts, vegetables in oyster sauce, beef with broccoli, some fried rice and some cake with tea for dessert.

Yes, thank you. That looks very tasty. Eat well!

Till next nut,