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.