Washing in a banya with the wisp of bast
How many of you know what it is you see pictured below? I remembered this today while writing TUBE. My grandmother used to scrape me raw (that is, until my skin turned bright red) with a brown, stinky wisp of bast, whenever we want to the banya—the public bathhouse. Not all Moscow apartments had private bathrooms, and in the summer the hot water was turned off for one month (for pipe maintenance or some other shit like that), so people either went to their neighbors to take a bath, or they went to banya.
The history of the use of wisp of bask in Russia is epic. Making it was one of the main ways for the peasants to make money.