Sunday, August 13, 2006

In praise of night bathing

Now, I'm not one of those guys who thinks anything that foreigners do differently than Americans has to be because their way is better. For instance, the Swedes eat a fermented herring—read "rotten fish"—called surstr√∂mming, which apparently has a foulness of odor resembling what you'd experience in a sewage line.

There are many other foreign customs I don't buy in to. I can't believe that, upon being offered the choice between the kings of American sports—baseball and football—many more foreign nations picked baseball over football. If their cultures weren't strange in some crucial way, they would have picked football, correct?

But to get back to the topic at hand, there is one Japanese custom you might like to test drive for a couple of months: bathing at night, instead of in the morning.

I personlly converted to showering and bathing at night, although I'm not one hundred percent faithful. Bathing at night helps me relax and wind down at the end of a hectic day, but sometimes I'm just too lazy in the evening to even consider dragging myself out of my chair. Or it's because showering at night would throw off my DVD-viewing plans for the evening.

But I think you'll find that bathing in the evening helps relax tense muscles, which will put you in better spirits and help you fall asleep quickly at bedtime. Doesn't it sound relaxing just reading about it? So give it a try—what are you waiting for (besides the sun to go down)?

—Mellow Monk

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