Bath time at the hostel was a strange ritual as there were three baths for about thirty inmates, and only enough hot water to fill them each twice, which equated to five people having to share the same water before the baths could be refilled.
One thing that had been drilled into me at home was that cleanliness was next to Godliness, so this bathing in dirty water was abhorrent to my senses. I would always attempt to be the first person to enter the bath room when the bell rang, even being punished when found sitting in one of the bath cubicles before the bell for bath time was rung. Also I took a lot longer to bath, what with scrubbing toenails, feet, hands and washing my hair everyday.
This was too long to wait for the other boys queuing up to bath. They tried many things to speed up my bath but the thing that they found out really worked was to toss a baboon spider over the cubicle wall. It is the only creature that I have an unreasonable fear of.
Once they found out I was scared of spiders my life became a living hell even worse than the days that I was only beaten to a pulp by the Afrikaners for giving them what they called back chat. I would now find spiders everywhere, in my bed, slippers, shoes, locker, toiletry bag and anywhere else that they could think of.
Baboon spiders are harmless, only enormous in size, even today I have an agreement with all spiders if they move into my house and that is, stay where I can see you and do not disappear because if I cannot see the spider it means I have to search the house and exterminate the creature that keeps the fly and mosquito population under control. I fear spiders, but hate flies with a passion.
Lots of hugs and more,