|Taken by me in Bolivia 2008|
Water, Water, Everywhere: Have you ever had to pee really bad but there was no place to go? How long can you hold it? I have found out on my travels that I can hold it for a very long time. Not a very comfortable thing to do, but it is possible. There have been several multi hour bus trips where the driver doesn’t stop very often and you are not sure when he is going to stop. Then he does stop and you run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off looking for the toilet. You find a person, any person and say “toilet??” Sometimes they understand you, sometimes they don’t. You mime peeing (legs crossed, pointing at groin). Still no response. You squat down on the ground. Maybe then they begin to understand.
The other day I was on a 2 hour boat ride with no facilities. Right after breakfast and two cups of coffee. It was like, “water water everywhere but not a….” place to pee! I contemplated (many times) asking the skipper to stop so I could jump in the ocean to pee. I was that desperate. Of course the fact that there IS water everywhere does not make it any easier to hold it either. I made it to the dock, but then did the aforementioned chicken dance.
Urinating in Public: I am from the mountains and sometimes you have to pee on a bush, but sometimes in other countries, you don’t even get a bush to pee on. I was in Vietnam a few years ago on a loooong (25 hours) bus ride and the bus never stopped. I had to go to the bathroom so bad. Finally the bus driver pulled over on the side of the highway and all the locals on the bus ran out and began to pee on the side of the road. I knew it was my only chance, so I too, bared my ass to the locals and did what I had to do.
This is not the only time this has happened. In Mozambique, a similar thing happened. The bus pulls over and I hear the driver say (and excuse me; my Portuguese is really Spanish), “senhoras, aca; senhores, alla” and everyone got off the bus. The ladies went to the back and the men went to the front. Just like that. Bare assed on the side of the road again.
In Bolivia, I was in a high plain area, I think it was about 16,000 feet. For some reason high altitude makes me have to go a lot! I tried to hold it but alas, it was not to be. “Senor” I said, “necessito ir al bano!” (thank goodness for 9th grade Spanish!) He pulled over and I showed my ass to all the Bolivians.
The best and most recent public wee was in China where “public restroom” takes another meaning. There are no partitions, only a row of 3 or 4 holes in the ground. You squat down next to your fellow woman and do what you have to do, right there in front of everyone. I was really nervous about peeing on my shoes in front of everyone; I was not as nervous (anymore!) about showing them my bum.
When in doubt, use the…Urinal?: Yup, I once had to use a urinal. Even better was that this was a “bathroom” with only three walls so when you are standing at the urinal, your back shows. Luckily I had a sarong and a friend to hold it up against the opening, acting like a 4th wall. How does this work, you may wonder. Well if you pull your pants all the way down and kind of straddle the urinal, its not really that bad at all. I was worried about peeing on my leg, but I narrowly escaped that fate.
Where is the weirdest place you have had to use the bathroom? What has been your most difficult pee story?