Friday, April 17, 2009

My relationship with toilets...

Ha. I'm totally to write about poo. So be warned. My first post of travel in Thailand will be about poo. I'll leave the rest up to Gregg.... you know, the sights, the sounds, the people....

So, fourth day in paradise on Kho Pha-ngan and I've been struck with traveller's diarrhea. You know that medicine that the doctor tells you you need, that costs a day's wages? The medicine that I almost didn't bother buying? Well... I sit here thankful at having bought it.

True to form, I feel compelled to write about the local toilet customs (as I did in Japan - "to squat or not to squat" - another blog, another time). In Japan, I discovered a fascination with the squat toilet - and that fascination continues - has blossomed, really. A morbid fascination now, as I've recently become VERY acquainted with squatting. Perhaps yoga has come in handy here, training my legs to feel comfortable in the low squat position (not too high or there's overspray)...

At first I was confused by the often ill-placed shower nozzles in Bangkok bathrooms. I knew they must be used as a sort of bidet, but really, how? The purpose seemed clear, but the practicality unfamiliar. It was only after the toilet paper ran out, late last night (surrounded by screeching jungle animals and creepy crawlys in the shadows) did I reach for the nozzle.

I think the Thais are really on to something!

Hesitant at first, I started with light pressure and short bursts of water. Not altogether unpleasant. Actually, come to think of it, quite soothing. So soothing in fact, my rear end has personally thanked me.

It makes so much sense. My rear is relieved and thankful - THANK YOU for sparing me the scratchy dry paper that never really seems to finish the job. And this just one aspect of the joy that is a squat toilet. Think of momentum, if you will - it's like we are helping our body do what it needs to do.

And when all is said and done, your hands need never touch that area which is unholy. Your hands are unsullied and may carry on with their day, reserved for other tasks.

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