the Long's Strange Trip
into the unknown...
Squat Toilets. Theyíre the original toilet, invented by one of our ancestors thousands and thousands of years ago, when he dug a hole, and then squatted over it. Itís the way most people have been going ever since.
Apparently some Europeans, after inventing the straightback chair, decided to add a hole and call it a toilet. (And things have progressed rapidly until this day.) Like many of you, thatís all Iíd ever used other than during a camping trip here or there.
For the most part I was doing a good job avoiding squat toilets. Almost all hotels have had, roughly, American style toilets. The exception came in small roadside coffeehouses during a 6-hour drive across the dry scrubland of Morocco. The giardia was kicked in full gear and it was my chance to participate in a new cultural experience.
Which can cause some stress. You look down and see two shoe shaped pads o porcelain, about two inches over the floor-level drainage area, facing away from the wall. You have to back into it, worrying that you might lose your balance, or that you or your clothes might tough something you donít want to touch. (Even more challenging when youíre doing a mad dash from the car.)
Itís funny, because the way you go is one of those habits that you kind of get attached to, and you donít really want to have to use a different method. No matter which youíre used to. On a train in Egypt I saw two dirty footprints on the toilet seat, left by someone who really didnít see the point in sitting.
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