Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Toilet H3ll

Squat Toilet
One of my pet peeves is a gross restroom. While traveling, I have realized that US public restrooms are plentiful and extremely clean in comparison to some other places in the world. Best of all, US public facilities are supplied with toilet tissue and soap. Not so in many countries. Oh, the things we take for granted!

Even a commode lid and cover are a luxury. Well, today I would've killed for these basic luxuries at I was met with a hole in the ground surrounded by a porcelain rectangle with impressions for your feet. WTHeck!! Here it was. My first squat toilet. I've read about these, but never encountered one. I don't know why I thought they could only be found in India or China. Yet, here it was in Ancona, Italy. I drink a lot of water and have to go often. With nothing else around the church I was visiting, I had no choice. Who knew when my next chance would be? Surprisingly, the sucker was clean. I mean, sparkling. It was in a clearing a bit away from the church, so it wasn't evident who cleans it. (Toilet fairies, maybe?)

I immediately thought back to the last time I had to squat, which was when I was a little girl. I recall my mama stopping on the side of the road because I really had to go and couldn't hold it. She'd hold my pants out of the way so that I wouldn't splash them. Well, she wasn't around to hold them and I didn't trust my own aim. How the heck was I to do this?? Did they NOT think about women when they designed these? I'll spare you all the gory details, but in the end I did what I had to do to make sure there was no chance of splashing my bottoms. It's not like I could change them if I made a mistake since I'd stored my luggage at the port while waiting for my ferry to set sail to Split, Croatia later in the evening.

While taking care of business, I was super thankful for the tons of stairs I'd silently complained about  having to climb the past 2 weeks in Italy. My thighs didn't shake not once as I positioned my feet on the markings indicating where you should stand and squatted further than I've had to since high school P.E. Finished, I redressed, watched the "toilet" flush in what looked like a monsoon, and marveled at the sparkling shine that was left behind. It wasn't quite that bad, but it's an experience I'll not want to have again.

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