Sunday, December 27, 2009

On Crapping In Public

I've always had a pretty active digestive system -- perhaps the secret to my survival in Russia was that I crapped out toxins before they could really be absorbed into my body.

During the Friday evening drinking session, which would inevitably move to a nightclub at around 12.30 or so, a crap was an inevitable part of the evening -- after all the cheap beer and pizza -- and not entirely without an element of enjoyable challenge.

(The House of Pain nightclub had toilets that at least had doors on them, and often even toilet paper, although they were strewn with vomit and piss and blood and shit and god-knows-what strains of antibiotic-resistant diseases. Managing a good crap without getting anything on you was a kind of extreme-sports challenge.)

Anyway, I was just sitting here at the Satrbucks knock-off cafe trying to download some movies when the Turkish cofee and brownie I'd eaten went right through me.

In the toilet, I had some time to consider the Arab method of cleaning the ass -- this involves water and not toilet paper. There's a hose next to the toilet with which you can flush out your anal regions.

All very well and good -- if you got shit on your hands, you wouldn't just scrape it off with toilet paper and go on your way. You'd use water. And soap, probably. (But I'm not THAT fussy about my ass being clean.)

But then of course you'd use paper to dry off afterwards. And nowhere is there toilet paper or even paper towels in evidence here at this rather upscale shopping mall. So an Arab toilet forces you to go straight from a shitty anus to a wet anus, with nothing to dry it with.

I guess those long thobes and burkas might allow them to drip-dry -- my brushed cotton Docker khakis allow me no such option.

(As far as the squatting aspect, I don't mind that -- the quadriceps are an important core muscle groups, and that means I can do 2 less squats during my prison-cell workout. Anyway most public toilets offer you a choice, there's usually one Western-style throne around.)


stevie austin said...

yeah when i first arrived in asian i thought the idea of carrying around tissue with you was girle. Turns out if you want a public crap it's b.y.o.

I got used to the idea really quickly and only last week when i was caught short for a tissue at an indian restuarant (the spices get the nose running) did i realize that its actually a pretty good idea, if not even classy (well better than using the lap napkin anyway).

Chris said...

I wonder what the decision not to adopt the use of toilet paper is based on. Its certainly one of the most annoying and disgusting acts of cultural stubbornness the world over. I mean, seriously, even if you do clean your ass with that hose, its got to spray microscopic particles of shit everywhere. Its not like a bidet, which are over rated as well. And the drip dry water has to be bacteria laden also. De-fucking-sgusting.

How can countries who use a hose, or worse their hands, to wipe their asses expect to be taken seriously?

Anonymous said...

If you were raised in an Arabic country you wouldn't feel any problem. you would think using just toilet paper is disgusting.

I think the best way is water + TP. but hey get used to it. don't worry about your pants, it won't drip. unless you don't wear underwear.

I'm an Arab, when I first went to the US, I was very uncomfortable about using just TP, I was thinking how the hell, they don't clean. but after months, I prefer the western toilet, I still use water when available + TP. but now I hate eastern style of toilet. lol

I would hate to be in KSA, but sorry, about your hard time there. and your experience with the ignorance in the Arab world. the toilet will be the least of your concerns.

Please don't let your experience judge every Arab, there are civilized,friendly and educated ones among us.

When I was kid, I also suffered from 7-12 years old kids throwing rocks but at me directly.

I would recommend you drive a car, you ll learn 3rd world driving pretty fast.