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“If you write your blog post in pieces rather than waiting until you’ve finished a complete narrative you’ll be posting on your blog more regularly and asking people to spend less time reading each new post.”

-m.g.f.

Very well. Mini posts + Charles F. Post = charlie post —> cp

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One day, badly needing to use the bathroom between class periods, I saw it was unfortunately crowded as I entered behind an elder, thobed colleague. He weaved his way towards the stalls at the back, myself trailing. At this time I hadn’t yet memorized which ones were squatters and which had thrones. As he pushed the door open to one, I saw that his was the only one free–a quick moment of panic and despair ensued (I’d have taken anything!).

However, he took one look at what he saw, then quickly turned around and exited, offering it to me in his stead. Now, generally, I wouldn’t call myself that picky about my evac. sites. You can’t leave home without encountering some discomforting situations now and again; of course, some have been distinctly memorable in that way you’ll never really share with any but the most curious of friends. But, despite some experience under my belt (so to speak), and the fact that I was at school where the facilities are kept quite clean, if all too frequently soaking wet, I approached the proffered stall with some apprehension, fearful of what I might encounter that provoked my colleague’s choice to pass on it, but really in no position to turn up my nose (unless that would help with the ordeal). What I found was a perfectly regal, spotless throne.

Now, maybe this is strange, since I’ve been aware of squatting toilets for quite some time. In many parts of the world, you either learn to squat or you decide to forego eating. I’ve even heard about the health benefits of squatting, that it may be better for your intestinal tract, that people might not develop hemorrhoids if they squatted, that our ancestors squatted, that it might promote agility into old age, and that squatting toilets certainly dissuade lingering, no matter how avid a reader the squatter may be.

But never, ever did it occur to me that someone might actually prefer to squat, that they would find this more comfortable. That someone would pass up a perfectly good toilet, when no squatters were available, to instead wait it out for the next available hole in the floor.*

Obviously I realized, well, that’s pretty stupid. Clearly there are people who prefer chopsticks over forks, or crouching instead of standing while waiting, or writing by hand instead of typing, or, I dunno, numerous better examples that I can’t think of off the top-of-my-head. I was just surprised that that never had even crossed my mind, that toilets might be the 2nd option. I was prompted to consider what other axiomatic cultural ideas guide my everyday interpretation of everything I encounter.

*Mind, I am making a number of large generalizations here. Maybe this colleague mine understands the health benefits of squatting, and is devoted to shitting the “right” way, no matter if he has to wait an extra minute or two to worship at his alter. Or maybe it’s just a lot easier to use a squatter while wearing a thobe…although I’m not sure how it would be.

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Gulf Hygiene Education:

Here’s a video about the toilet hose I found online that I found informative. It resolved my questions about why, even with the hose, there still isn’t any tp in most stalls, and if the whole left-hand thing is just an artifact of an earlier time.

To be fair, all the water that sprays everywhere* seems kinda nasty at first, but really it’s a better system of hygiene if we’re being totally honest. I mean, how many times have you spilled some food on a counter or a table, then wiped at it with a shoddy paper towel and thought “yup, that’s as clean as that ever needs to be.”

*I learned recently that the reason the school’s units in particular get so wet is because students wash their feet on the seats before prayer (how thoughtful of them!): It’s best to use the bathroom beforeĀ asr.

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