From: D'vorah bint al-Attar <dvorah@...
To: SCA Midrealm <sca-middle@...
>; SCA Newcomers <firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Wed, Jul 14, 2010 10:50 am
Subject: [SCA Newcomers] Shower safety at Pennsic & other wars
While everyone's packing up for Pennsic, I thought it might be good to think of safety once you get there. Especially in the bath/shower houses, there's a special level of vulnerability.
1. Wear shoes. Though I'm sure no one intends to do it, people do vomit, urinate, and defecate onto bathroom floors when they're drunk, sick, or too young to know better or have control over their functions.
2. Wear shoes even in the shower. Fungi and bacteria love damp, warm places. A pair of rubber or plastic flip-flops could save you from a world of hurt, foot fungus, athlete's foot, plantar warts, and other nasties.
3. Get a shower caddy to bring your own soap, scrubbie, washcloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair care products, towel, and robe.
--> 4. Bring a friend. In places where nudity is de rigeur, there exists a very real temptation to those who would think, "Aha. I was just thinking how nice it would be to sexually molest or assault someone, and look -- a building in which most of those present will have disrobed already, doing half the work for me." Especially bring a friend if it's very early or very late, as there will be fewer innocent bystanders around to take note of any distress you may be put into.
5. If you're modest, bring a friend who will bring a blanket or other shield to cover you. Those bloody doors and curtains don't close all the way, and they put them FAR too close to where you have to sit or stand, so that there's no room for you to turn around. Bring a friend, and s/he will be able to cover you with upraised arms and blanket and shield you from casual view.
6. Bring extra TP and/or baby wipes. No public bathroom EVER thinks about the fact that their TP is rough and tough, and you can wind up with abrasions that are not just uncomfortable, but can lead to infection in the situation of sharing bathrooms with so many folks. Bringing your own soft TP and wipes will ensure your comfort even if no one has thought to refill the public supply in the last couple hours.>>
I agree whole-heartedly with numbers 1, 2, and 3. Having dealt with plantar warts off and on since my teenage years, I always wear flip flops or some such in public showers and other places like water parks. Another comment for 3 is to remember to take your bath supplies back to camp with you when you are done! The Cooper's cleaning staff simply throw out any bathing supplies they find when cleaning the bath houses. Pennsic Lost and Found usually keeps any brought to us until the end of war and then disposes off them. We have not gotten much over the last few years, however. Don't assume that your supplies will still be there when you come back for your next shower!
Number 4 is certainly a valid concern, although it seems more likely that you will encounter an amorous consenting couple (quite possibly mixed gender even though the bathhouses are segregated) in the bath houses late at night rather than a potential agressor. But, in general, whenever there are that many unknown people around, it's a good idea to have a friend with you anyway at night.
Number 5 is good advice - don't assume a mundane level of modesty will prevail at Pennsic, because it won't.
This advice will also help you if you are uncomfortable seeing other people in the nude, as many Scadians seem to be pretty easy-going about it, especially in same-sex situations.
Number 6 - bringing your own preferred brand is never incorrect :-) It's rare for the public toilets to run out of supplies as the Coopers keep after them pretty much constantly. The portajohns in the more heavily travelled areas do run out despite twice or thrice daily cleanings and re-stockings. And if we get a lot of rain and the trucks can't get through the mud, then things can get really bad. Also, sometimes the paper in the portajohns gets soiled by falling into the road before being placed in the holder, etc.
Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
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