Sunday, February 21, 2010

the horror...the horror...

OK ladies and gentlemen be warned that this post is going somewhere that not all of you will be adventurous enough to follow. It's a scary scary place, and I want everyone to turn your nausea centres off, because we are going to the depths of depravity, a place that has not been touched by sunlight, goodness, or a mop in centuries. That's right, we are going to a gas station bathroom on the side of the highway, halfway to Bahrain.

My bladder was full when we pulled over to refuel. The three men in my car all took turns going into the men's bathroom while I tentatively stepped up to the open door of the ladies' loo. The smell hit me 3 feet away. I closed off my nasal passages and gingerly stepped in. Okay, it was dirty and the floor was wet, but I figured it was do-able. I looked into the first stall with its squatting bowl and there was litter everywhere. And I'm not talking office paper twinkie wrapper litter, I am talking no-man-woman-or-dog-should-be-seeing-this litter. Two words. Blood. Streaks. I can't describe the panic. The other two stalls were a similar blur. And I know this is a bit dramatic, but I actually let out a high pitched squeal and a "no no no!" inside the bathroom. When I emerged suddenly back into daylight, one of my friends was standing in front of the car. He asked me, "did I hear screaming in there?" Needless to say, we left. Travelling with men, they of course didn't understand at first. They made comments like "it didn't look that bad." and "what was so bad about it?" and "you just plug your nose." All I had to do was say, "There was blood..." and all three of them visibly shifted in their seats and decided I was completely justified in failing to do my business in the bathroom. The line of questioning came to an abrupt halt and the conversation changed to how high a sand dune needed to be for me to be comfortable taking a whiz.

The answer is about four feet.

=D

4 comments:

Tara Umm Omar said...

The bathrooms in KSA are nightmares. Its really a shame since this is a Muslim country and Muslims are supposed to be clean as much as possible. I always complain about this part of traveling every time we hit the road. If KSA wants to promote tourism in their country, I suggest that they tackle the horrendous restrooms problems first.

Nalini said...

WOW

Note to self - do not drink anything on the trip to Bahrein.

It's true, all public washroom facilities here are a bit sketchy, unless you are somewhere really upscale like the Four Seasons....

It's crazy that the malls in Riyadh get paid rent from major designer brands like Dior, Chanel, etc but then don't invest the appropriate amount of money back into the washroom facilities, labour to clean the washrooms, and toilet tissue.... i've never tried the hosesin these stalls and i don't intend to....

Orchidthief said...

yeah, well even though that was probably the grossest bathroom my eyeballs have ever witnessed, I'm sure it represents the most extreme case. Still though, they could just hire a janitor at these places and charge a couple riyals... I mean, I would pay to go to a clean toilet.

Anyhow, most of my bathroom experiences have been good, so you're welcome saudi arabia for posting about my very worst experience! ha ha

Ioanna said...

I'm sorry orchidthief but this post made me laugh.....not at you but at your predicament because I have been there and witnessed it too. I have been amongst the filthiest toilets in India and Indonesia as well and I have learned to carry a perfumed handkerchief with me. What is really shameful is that as women, we have enough 'biological messes' to cope with and a clean toilet should be our haven.