Mon Mari Douche a L’exterieur

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Douche is an off-limits vocabulary word in English.  Any of us who were teenagers in the 70s remember it as a common derogatory term and we are still perplexed by the lyrics of Blinded by the Light, which we thought was also, somehow, about that word.  But when I moved to Tunisia, I learned that douche is a very nice common word.  It simply means ‘to shower’ and while I giggled inwardly when I was looking at houses and the realtor pointed out the douche, I got over it, eventually.  One of my first week in Tunisia ridiculous moments, there were many, came early one morning.  We were basically camping out in the house we had rented because it was still under renovation and the only shower was outdoors.  That may sound rustic, but this one is brilliant.  It is in a completely private space and has hot and cold water.  It is actually pretty fabulous and Allan continued showering there until the end of November when he finally retreated indoors. 
As this house hadn’t been properly cleaned from the previous tenants and also had a film of construction grit all over it, we hired two French cleaning ladies to detail it from top to bottom.  I had a week before I had to begin working, but Allan was already trying to appear to be a professional at his job.  The ladies were supposed to begin at 8:00, but they thought, why not start at 7:30?  Unfortunately, Allan was showering at 7:30- outside.  He had to come back through the house to get to his clothes.  It fell to me to explain to the cleaning ladies about our “situation”. 
We got past the typical “Bonjour, ca va?”  interchange.  Then I had to deliver the information. “Mon mari douche a l’exterieur, “ was the best I could put together.  I can remember, exactly, their faces as they grasped some comprehension of my odd sentence and without even looking at each other, pivoted and went outside to wait on the stoop. 
I see those ladies everyday at work now.  I consider them my little angels since they really helped me get on top of this house before I had to start work.  We’re still not much past the “Bonjour, ca va?” stage, but I always feel like we share a little secret.
And now it’s outdoor shower season again.

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