Wednesday, June 21, 2006

ode to a squat toilet

Jaipur is a very nice place, as long as you avoid the midday dhoop (sunshine). Dhoop is talked about like a snowstorm.. or rain.... "we shouldn't go out yet, there is dhoop"... it's best to do things in the morning and evening and hide inside somewhere during the strong dhoop. We have had two rain storms.. both beautiful, with strong winds, pouring rain, and even a bit hail. These storms cool down the world immediately. Delicious. The dhoop is not so bothersome after it rains... atleast for that day.

I am with a fellow AIIS participant staying at the Bhargava household, run by mom, who cooks cooks cooks. Dad goes out to work. Priyanka, 24, loves painting, embroidery, and other craftsy things. Shashank, 20, is studying hotel management and works all day until late at a hotel, where he met John Abraham the other night. John wanted chai. Our room is pink, with molding, two desks with beautiful cloth on them, and a happy, clean bathroom with sailboat tiles. The bathroom, like most indian bathrooms, has its oddities. If you turn on the left nozzle for the shower, the sink turns on.

But alas, the most trouble for us Americans is the squat toilet. At first, we regarded the squat toilet as a challenge... we felt we could do it.. we just needed to get more flexibility and muscle strength and we could beat the squat toilet into submission. This of course, did not happen. The squat toilet fought back. It won. As you squat, peeing, you realize.. pee is splashing everywhere... now... why would I want to pee in a way that causes urine to spatter on my feet and pants when I know I can pee differently and deposit said liquid solely in the toilet? A question to be mulled over. And secondly.. crapping onto he toilet.. well.. I have to hold onto the wall behind me.. and it just takes too long.. my arm gets tired, my legs get tired. I think back fondly to my western toilet, where I can sit relaxed, take my time, and even read a book. Not the case with the squat toilet... no amount of relaxation came to me squatting, only the fear I would fall over half way through.

The squat toilet.. we ask... what good do you bring us? Why use a squat toilet? What benefits does it bring. So, its true, I could not conquer the squat toilet, so I just sat down.


Jasonic said...

i hate that s*it. excuse the pun. its one thing about visits to India that drove me insane. on my last visit, tho, with things changing so much, a lot of my family has sit-down toilets now. altho i think the squat is easier for them at this point. i unfortunately get a little freaked out about bitey things that may be in the toilet. but i get over that fast. the only thing to be said about the squat is that it uses less water and requires less plumbing. but with India's economy growing rapidly, one hopes that they improve the infrastructure.

MZ said...

i personally like squat toilets. as long as they're clean that is. and the ones in yamuna seem to be so.