Thursday, 29 April 2010

Backpacker Memoirs....Do you REALLY need to go??

Wednesday 6th January 2010

So I have been in Africa now for two months, I have travelled through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zanzibar to name a few, and some things remain the same:

1. The children ALWAYS love you.
2. The Toilets are always TERRIBLE.
The latter I have noted comes in a few variations:

1. The Squat Toilet - If you are lucky you have toilet paper (unlikely) and a tap sticking out of the wall so you can wash your hands.

2. The Squat Toilet complete with a bucket of (dirty) water and a jug - So you can flush. Usually there is nowhere to wash your hands, so the alcohol gel is a must. (There is never any toilet paper.)

3. The Long Drop/Local Village Toilet: Usually a fly infested stinking hell hole of a thing.....No one ever sits down properly so "accidents" are and occupational hazard. If your Lucky its not actually a dug out hole in the ground but has some kind of tin can to hold up the sides...reducing the risk of actually falling in! Still a traumatic experience.

4. The Bush Toilet: This comes in two forms.
a) A hole dug in the ground in your camp for which you are then informed "The toilet is over there"

b) An Actual Bush -
If you can find one! Yes people I have actually had the unpleasant experience of doing a number one (and a number two) at the side of the road (Watched by local villagers....I'm sorry if I relieved myself on your farm land!) Thank God I will never see them again!

5. The Western Toilet:
My personal favourite and a great improvement on the rest. However, western toilets in Africa always come with some kind of design flaw. Usually the door, lock, sink or toilet are either absent of not fitted properly. You are lucky if the door doesn't close or lock, but you can actually sit on the toilet and hold the door closed at the same time. However, as I personally encountered there is a potential that you will actually fall off the toilet if you try to hold the door closed because it is not fixed to the floor!

6. The Shopping Centre Toilet:
Sounds good doesn't it? If you are lucky the walls between each toilet are not see through!

7. The Hotel Toilet: A rare and very exciting normal toilet! Yes, they actually do exist in Africa (though usually in Hotels) They have clean usually white toilets, with toilet paper, a toilet that is fixed to the floor with a lock that fits (oh and a door with hinges that are fixed to the door itself.) No insects, a sink, a hand dryer or hand towels and a mirror! Very exciting!
This rare occurrence which requires happy discussion by everyone in your group resulting in smiling faces for the rest of the day! A real treat!

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