Before I tell you about my time in darling Darjeeling… I have to share with you the worst toilet experience of my life (so far). I say so far because I know I still have a long time on the road and know even after this adventure it won’t be my last… I am sure I will have many more. I honestly though never thought I would be writing a post about a toilet experience of mine. About squat toilets maybe, but an experience no.
You see before getting to India I honestly had no clue how to use squat toilets. The 1st time I encountered one was in Chefchaouen, Morocco and I remember clearly walking in gasping getting scared and almost turning around until I realized I just had to pee. The 2nd time I encountered one and actually had to use it was in Essaouria, Morocco. I remember going in the toilet, closing the door and seeing hooks on the back of it. I thought, the hooks must be for my jeans and underwear. So I stripped down did my business got dressed and went on with my life.
It wasn’t until I got to India that I had to face my fear of having to use them often & actually learn how to use them properly. My 1st encounter in India with one was when I got to Mathura, India for Holi and our room had one. Lucky for me I was traveling with Carolin (you remember her from Hamburg). Carolin had spent many months in India and well was a pro at the squat toilet thing so answered a few of my questions. 2 things I never understood about squat toilets:
1 How do people use them without taking off their bottoms to not get anything on them?
2 How do they clean themselves with out any toilet paper?
She answered the 2nd question and showed me the 1st one as you can see. Yes lovely Val took a photo of her showing me how to use the squat toilet. After that using a squat toilet was a breeze and over the next 6 weeks I have become a pro at using them. Seriously as long as you have toilet paper you are golden. I mean really most of the public toilets I have had to use are disgusting and I wouldn’t want to put my ass on any of them anyway. So squatting and taking care of business makes it much easier, because yes you are uncomfortable, but not touching anything. It’s a win win and well that brings me to my story.
Val & I spent a week in the mountain town of Darjeeling and through out that week both were sick on and off with stomach problems. I am pretty sure I used the toilet more during that week than the rest of my time in India combined. I will tell you more about that and everything we did in darling Darjeeling in my next post for now I am getting straight to the story.
We left the Guest House for dinner and headed down the mountain to a little pizzeria we had gone a few days before that we both liked, but didn’t have a toilet. On the way down I told Val I was not feeling good and think I need to go. She said “Jaime should we go back?” I thought “fuck we already walked all the way down here” so told her, “no I will find a toilet down here.” A bit ahead of the pizzeria was a big hotel so I told her I would go in and ask to use it there.
I walked in & saw a guy sitting there I asked him if I could please use the toilet. He said yes and pointed it’s down that way. I rushed down that way… I could barely hold it any longer, but now was just at the reception with 3 people looking at me. I asked them “yes the toilet please…” one of the ladies said “no we don’t have toilets?” I said, “Excuse me? You don’t have any toilets?” She said “no we don’t” I said, “Please it’s an emergency I will pay you… 10… 50 Rupees”. She said, “No we don’t have any I am sorry”. I then got pissed and said “you are telling me you don’t have a single toilet in this hotel?” She said “exactly”. I looked at her in the eyes and mouthed “FUCK YOU” and ran off. I was about to explode… as I walked out the wind helped me make it an extra dramatic exit by slamming the door for me.
There I was in the middle of the street with nowhere to go. I knew I could not make it back to the Guest House. Then I saw what looked like public toilets right across the street. I walked in and saw 4 squat toilets filled with shit & all disgusting… I didn’t mind that, what I did mind was that none of them had a door. I looked up and down and thought “fuck… okay I have no choice”. I thought, “disgusting toilet with no door no problem… just please God do not let anyone walk in on me”. I went to the last one because I thought that would give me the most privacy of the 4 if someone walked in.
And then there I was in the squat position when I heard someone walk in… I thought “FUCK okay I know they must be able to see my head so they won’t come back here.” I heard the footsteps coming. Then I looked up and there he was a little old man right in front of me starring at me. I quickly moved one hand to cover my crotch and another to hold myself because I was about to fall back from the shock. I stared at him and was speechless. I literally couldn’t say a single word… but was about to start crying. He then moved to the toilet next to me and took care of his business. He must have stood there in front of me for not even 10 seconds, but seemed like a lifetime.
I couldn’t believe it… I just couldn’t. Because I was sick I was there longer than I wanted to and the whole time I was just cursing India, cursing travel, cursing the inventor of squat toilets and who ever designed a public toilet for 4 with out doors.
After taking care of business I walked to the Pizzeria walked in and Val looked at me and said “no luck?” I told her “yes, but am about to cry… I can’t believe what happened and just need a minute”. After dinner I was feeling a bit better and Val & I went for a nice cup of tea.
So yup that is it… a man watched me taking care of business and I almost cried. I mean really I have had to use many crazy disgusting toilets around the world, but this was hands down the worst. Traveling the world has made me accept that we live in a world with disgusting toilets, but not in a world with door less toilets or one where someone will watch you as you go. When any human is taking care of business they should have the privacy of 4 walls and no one should watch… but than again I am in a country where people shit on the side of the roads and everyone can watch… like it’s no big deal. Ahhh India!!!
So yeah I would love to hear what you think about this. Oh & since I shared with you my worst toilet experience go ahead and share with me your worst toilet experience.