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.
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