Tuesday, November 25, 2014
The Danger "Down There"
It's a perfectly normal business, something we all do at least once a day, a visit to the little room, the toot, the WC, the washroom, the Bathroom, the ladies, the gents.
What ever you want to call it. it's something we all use.
A place we we can go, attend to our business and leave in a slightly more relaxed state than that in which we entered, or so you would think......
In Bali, this experience may leave you with a little more (or perhaps a little less) than you bargained for.
As most of these places can emit a stench that warns you of their existence a little before you disembark the plane at round 240 kilometers away from the actual building, you usually know exactly where to find them.
Armed with an aroma that threatens to suffocate you by evaporating any remaining oxygen in your lungs as you walk past, you decide you don't really need to go THAT badly and hang on for as long as is humanely possible.
Strangely enough, sometimes this works and it goes away, I'm really not quite sure how a full bladder can mysteriously empty by itself, I think this is partly what causes the tourists to develop a slightly yellow tan, it's not really sun it's just their bodily fluids being distributed throughout their skin, rather than flushed away. Of course I am no authority on this, it's just an observation.
But is is not always the case; sometimes it just gets worse and worse, you convince yourself you can hang on or perhaps it may be redistributed.
After several more hours haggling over fabric, lounging on the beach or bargaining for 3.5 hours to save 500 rupiah (yes, of course you don't immediately realise this is worth about 5c), you become aware that nothing funny had better happen or you are in for an accident.
You develop a staunch look straight ahead, hopefully ensuring nothing amuses you in the slightest.
Your kidneys start to ache so much you begin to wonder if in a drunken stupor the night before, it is a possibility that someone may have sneakily removed one of them. Wildly swiping around your back you are relieved to find that all your skin is in tact, thus ensuring the containment of your vital organs.
Alas in that moment you feel a sense of relief, the lower parts of your anatomy also start to experience a sense of relief. You slap your legs together so hard you nearly pass out from the bones in your knees clacking together and immediately realise you absolutely MUST find a toilet - RIGHT NOW!
Racing into the first warung (restaurant) you come across, you decide it will be ok, you shout out an order of a fruit juice as you race past the waitress in search of the kamah kecil (little room).
Upon entering, all seems well, there is the usual white plastic seat, probably a hand basin, maybe a bucket of water to wash yourself with and then flush the toilet and if its slightly more westernised, maybe even some toilet paper.
You rip your pants off with the speed and haste of a banshee gone feral, prising the fabric out from between your tightly clenched knees and relax on to the plastic, ahhhhhhhhh, the relief.
After about 6 hours and 42 minutes (well it seems like that) you are considerably lighter, having possibly passed a few liters of fluid (well everyone did tell you you must drink a lot in the tropics or you will dehydrate).
You gently arise from your seated position only to discover Holy mother of god, a deadly creature of the night has stung you in the nether regions, not only stung, but firmly latched on.
It's human instinct to immediately leap up in the air away from the harbinger of doom, alas you are fairly attached to the toilet seat in a way no man or woman should ever be.
Oh my god, you feel the room swimming and sense that you are about to black out. Not only has it gone where few have dared to tread, it is now pinching you with such ferocity the hairs on the top of your head are eliminating themselves one by one.
Screaming with agony you peer down to discover that there is a crack in the toilet seat that has opened up as the weight of your desperate request for relief plonked down, yet once relieved and you attempt to stand, it firmly snaps shut on parts that were never intended to be trapped.
You are desperately alone (well thank god for that really) and firmly trapped, caught in the revenge of the seat that has lacked in its resolve of the previous person standing on it
.Many Asian cultures are used to squat toilets and when confronted with an actual seat on a porcelain bowl are so confused by what to do that they teeteringly balance, feet astride the bowl, causing it to break or crack over time.
And herein lies your dilemma, due to the previous abuse, you now pay the price, caught firmly by your who ha!
Every pore of your being is screaming "run away, rip it off" but your sense of self preservation and the fact that the beads of sweat running down your face preventing you from seeing clearly only just mask the fact that you are in so much pain you can't see straight anyway.
Your "bits" are now turning an alarming shade of purple and trust me it makes no difference if you are male or female, these broken bowls don't discriminate!
A piecing noise slowly emits from your lips, but a sense of shame and embarrassment quickly reins it back in. At this stage a Brazilian waxing session is looking like something peaceful and fun to do.
You realise there's no alternative but to sit back down (as the toilet ring is now hovering mid air, held up by your privates at an alarming angle) your mind briefly wanders to some Olympic record for doing such things, but no, you snap back into your body and realise the only way to remove this foreign object is to sit on it and use your weight to release the grip.
Seriously easier said than done, when the most intimate part of your body is trapped in something that feels like a blend of rattlesnake poison and the sting of a scorpion, mildly attached with the gentle force of 7 semi trailer trucks, the last thing that enters your mind is "lets sit on it".
Alas it is the only option and with a squeal that makes the entire restaurant stop eating you sit down, instantly you are released, wiggling forward to escape the plastic clutches your entire body collapses on the wet floor, who cares that you are sitting in a mixture of toilet water and urine, you have been given a new lease of life.
One part of you feels as those you have escaped the clutches of hell having gone through some demonic ritual of fire, another part of experiencing a sense of being at one with the angels.
Your nether regions now have their own heartbeat!
It is enough to turn the most stalwart atheist into a believer.
This scenario is far more common than you think and like a zipper caught where it shouldn't be, hopefully it only happens once in your lifetime
But if nothing else, from this point onwards, you will always look before sitting for the "danger down there".