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Smells Like Cold

In one of my interviews with Tibetans, I came upon a startling aspect of their culture. In Tibet, they rarely bathed; however this is not because they are dirty savages as one might believe, but rather, as my translator pointed out, because when it is cold you don't smell. With out smell, what is the point of bathing? Thus now they are in India, she assured me, all Tibetans bathe quite regularly because you can't go more than a day or two with out aquiring a smell.

I just went three days with out bathing or changing my clothes, and I have admit that Kelsang was right - you don't smell. The first night was tough, we were still south enough for it to be warm and my shirt was soaked from all the running around I had to do finding a seat. However, by day two it was chilly enough that I couldn't wear just my t-shirt and that night I was so glad I had a silk sheet and plenty warm clothes (I also have my down sleeping bag but didn't feel like dragging it out on the train). And by the third day, when we arrived in Delhi, where it is actually chilly (especially on cloudly days), I couldn't smell myself at all. And no, I don't think this is because I got used to it - usually if for some reason I can't bathe the smell just gets worse and worse until I at least find a sink to wash a bit in. However this time I hardly felt the need to do more than wash my face.

Don't worry, I still bathed last night anyhow, despite the chill in the air, the luke warm water and the freezing floors. It is up to a warm 50 or 60 now but I last night it must have dropped near if not below 40. Having lived in Minnesota this seems like nothing, but now I am used to Bangalore temperatures!

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