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My best India story (TMI warning)
In Jaipur India, the group had recently finished lunch at LMB Restaurant. We were roaming the bazaars looking for deals when my stomach started grumbling a little. I ignored it for a while, but eventually, I knew I had to do something about it. I mentioned to the group that I REALLY had to go to the bathroom. The big question was what to do about it...

On a scale of 0-10 (with a standard McDonald's bathroom being a 5) a typical public bazaar bathroom in a developing nation probably rates a 1, not a pleasant choice in a small emergency. Another option was to walk 10 minutes back to the LMB Restaurant bathroom which rates about a 2. I chose that option.

Anna, a friend from KPMG, accompanied me into the restaurant. As I entered I told the manager that I had eaten there and needed the restroom. Then I remember that the restaurant has no TP, but fortunately Anna had an emergency travel roll with her that she gracefully offered. I quickly shuffled down the hallway to the men's room only to be cut off by a young boy who grabbed the only stall and proceeded to have the same issues that I was having. I had no choice but to wait. Or did I?

I shuffled back out and asked one of the waiters if there was another bathroom I could use, but there was not. So I returned to the hallway and waited for the boy to finish. A couple minutes passed after which the boy's father entered the bathroom to help him out. At that point, I decided it was time to take control of my own destiny.

After careful observation of other patrons, I discovered a slim window of opportunity: the women's bathroom was open. I knew from previous discussions with the group that there were two options, a Western style or a squattie potty. I decided on the squattie potty for the primary reason that you don't have to touch anything. I ran in and quickly locked the stall door.

I stood there for a moment contemplating whether there was a right way to use it as it's been a while since my last time. I was forced to make a snap judgement and decided to use it in the direction I happened to be in at the time. I squatted down, being careful not to touch anything (I will note that the women's bathroom rated a 3 compared to the men's).

I did my business, desperately clutching the small package of travel TP. When I was done, I opened the package and carefully unrolled the measly contents and discovered a scant three squares which kept rolling back up. After carefully folding each square one by one, I finally got them to a usable state and finished up.

I stood up and hit the flusher only to discover a half-hearted flow of water, unlike the squattie potties in Japan. It was at this moment that I realized that I had been facing the wrong way (I guess there really is a wrong way) and the water could not attain sufficient velocity. Just as I was becoming aware of this, the door to the bathroom opened and I heard the jingling of a (presumably) Indian lady walking in.

As the embarrassment crept over me, she attempted to open my stall. The stall was locked of course, but it still added to the overall shame of the situation. I attempted to flush again but the tank was extremely slow to refill so all I could do was cower quietly in my stall and wait. I don't know how long I was in there, but finally the lady finished and left.

I flushed again and only succeeded in removing 50% of my shame but I felt that I had to leave as quickly as possible. I stood on my tippy-toes and peered over the stall door to ensure I was alone, then made a mad dash for the door, fearing that another lady would catch me in the act.

I erupted into the hallway and was much relieved that no one was looking my way. I calmly strolled out of the restaurant, thanked the manager and proceeded outside to find Anna. She provided me with a small bottle of Purel, which I used most of, before returning to the group. I recounted my story to the group while turning beet red with embarrassment and spent the next few hours with an awkward gait...
Posted 12/16/2009 08:59 AM in Ramblings, Travel | Total Comments: (10)
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Versus recount? But, yeah... no idea how the wrong way works on such an arrangement, but hitting the other washroom was certainly a bold move on your part. Judicious use of TP, though. (Excitin'!)
Submitted by Dan on 12/16/2009 11:54 AM

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