Question: How do you know you’re in South East Asia?
Answer: You Dread going to the bathroom.
It’s dark, it’s wet, there’s a hole, a hose, a tub of water, and a scoop. It was all a little confusing. My first time was like a cirque show, no seriously! I thoroughly accessed the scene— contorting my body, tilting my head — as I accessed the many possible angles I could take to get this inside job done.
A hole, A scoop and A hose… Now what?
You would think there would be a limited amount of things that could be done with these three things but, actually… I had a few comedic trial and errors— and learned some filthy lessons fast! Inevitably every uncomfortable thought and/or position lead me to one solution to all of this:
Stop thinking about it and just Squat. Oh and… Welcome to Thailand.
Being away from America certainly makes me grateful for certain things- The convenient nature of our lives on so many unconscious levels can only be fully appreciated by the removal of such accommodations. The Bathroom for example… we have trash cans, seat protectors and some real purdy ones are heated and clean you automatically after you finish. Seriously though…
In America we have a wide array of toilet paper – we can fold, scrunch, wad or even origami our ass to contentment.
When that is over- we just stand up and watch the automatic poop shoot drain—-ah yes… we get the pleasure of not even having to flush our own doodie because, it does it for us! When we finally get to the sink, the faucet and soap dispense themselves. As if alllll of that wasn’t convenient enough we can choose to be eco-friendly by blowing or waving our hands to their optimum dryness. But, then… we reach for the door… and SHIT…..
BEWARE OF BATHROOM GERMS ON THE DOOR HANDLE!!!!
We dare not touch that door handle because once our parents told us it was filthy and 20 years later we still remember it (along with the fact that someone once said there was copious amounts of feces on money and from that moment on money never looked the same). So we conveniently get more TP to open the door, throw it out and get on our merry way…
I was just thinking… I am surrounded by people who have never contemplated the nature of 3 ply TP on their bums- but who smile every day. It definitely makes me think about all the hours (and dollars) spent in our country to make going to the shiter a little less shitty.
But, lets get real- %50 of the time it’s just gonna be shitty! And no amount of luxury can take the Crap out of Crapping! Physiologically it is actually much healthier to squat than to sit on the toilet and i will be the first to admit that I actually prefer the squatting method. Where it gets gnarly for me is the hand-scooped flushing mechanism and then the hose, and the whole no trash can in the bathroom thing (especially if you are a lady). In all honesty, going to the bathroom here is a huge chore but,
I think I’m more afraid of the fact that I come from a country that no longer has time to flush their own shit down the drain.
Oh and the automatic toilet that flushes 15 times before I’ve even done anything… really makes me tick.
When I’m over here doing my business all Crouching tiger hidden dragon style- and I’m wondering how much more uncomfortable life can get- I think about what it means to go to the Bathroom in America and I have concluded that it doesn’t mean a lot to us because, we really don’t think about it anymore. It is just too damn convenient and from here on out…
I vow never to take for granted the power of TP !
Because when you don’t have it, you really miss it. For Thai people this is just a way of life. They have been crapping in crappy places their whole lives but, from the outside… I have been enlightened (or more literally from the inside to the outside).