My thoroughly educational how-to series continues today with something very important in our (hopefully) everyday lives: Pooping. We all poop. Except girls, they don’t poop until they’re married. Anyways, if you’re a Westerner who’s come to Thailand for the first time, you may be a little confused when you find a bathroom.
The toilet consists of a hole in the ground with some little grippy things for your feet next to it. Sometimes it’s more creative than that. I stayed in a hostel at Surat Thani, southern Thailand which offered what I call a Feces-Fortress. Allow me to elaborate: It was about two or three feet tall, constructed of bright-pink tiles and looked similar to a Mayan pyramid. There were steps on all sides leading up to the top, where you could “make your human sacrifice” as the ancients might say. Still though, perplexingly, it was just a hole on a platform. All that work for a hole. We could talk about the shower in that hostel, which consisted of a tiny sprayer that was hanging with a rusty clothes hanger on the side of the sink, but we already covered showers in another segment.
So, without further rambling, here is a step-by-step tutorial on taking a dump in Thailand:
1. Practice Your Hovering Technique- If you’re a girl who’s peed in the woods, you probably have this pretty well covered. I’m mostly going to be instructing male-poopers in this tutorial, as I honestly don’t know what the female Thai-Toilet experience is like. I wish you luck, ladies, and may God have mercy on your bums. Anyways, I perfected the art of hover-pooping when I was living in a Nature Preserve outside of Rome for three weeks. It does take some practice. The experts say it’s actually healthier for humans to take a poop “caveman style” but I’m not sure I can agree. It’s a little tricky.
2. Conjure Up a Good Shit- This one is easy. Thai food is insanely good. Be forewarned though, that it can get pretty spicy if you pick particular dishes. I think for safety’s sake you should stick with Pad Thai or Fried Noodles for your first go-around. Indian food should be reserved for veteran Thai-poopers.
3. Locate a Hole- Once you’re fairly confident you’re not going to fall backwards, you’ll need to find a place to do the deed. Notice I don’t refer to these things as toilets. Again, they are just stinky holes in the floor basically.
4. Safety First- I’m going to recommend that first-timers just go ahead and remove your pants entirely. We don’t want any unfortunate accidents here. If you skipped my warning and went for Indian food, you may want to remove your shirt also.
5. Hover and Anchor- Now that you’re standing there completely naked in a tiny little stall around a hole in the floor, you’re going to want to get down to business. Settle yourself over the hole and assume the hover position you practiced earlier. It may be good to hold onto something just to be safe.
6. Bomb’s Away!- Nobody wants to read about this part.
7. Tragic Failure- You’ve fallen backwards and slid your butt across the dirty porcelain “platform” and have had to catch yourself with your hands; placing them on the floor that has probably been peed on hundreds of times.
8. Ahhh, Fuck!- That’s what you scream as you try not to touch your face with your hands anymore and regain your hover position.
9. Resume Yo—GODDAMMIT.- You’re on your ass again.
10. Suspension Bridge- Hold both hands on the surrounding rails to assure that you won’t do another ass-slide.
11. Collateral Damage- While holding both hands on the rails, you’ve neglected something else. You involuntarily pee on the top of the platform.
12. I’ll Just Move My H—AHHH GROSS.- In an attempt to aim your “pistol” in the right direction, you’ve moved one of your hands and have subsequently fallen backwards again.
13. Repeat Steps 5-10 Multiple Times
14. “The Wipe”- You look for toilet paper. You look again. All you see is a tiny little sink sprayer hanging next to you. You sigh as you realize its intention. You grab the sprayer and position it over your bum. You pull the trigger.
15. AHHHHH- It’s like a fucking pressure-washer. A fire hose. A typhoon. You quickly wonder if you can contract hepatitis from fetid water entering your butthole. You continue to wonder about things such as this during your entire stay in SE Asia.
16. Damage Assessment- Stand up and survey your body and surroundings. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR HAND TO YOUR FACE. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DON’T DO IT. Did your clothes escape your disastrous failure of toiletry? If so, put them on. If not, collapse in a heap of shame and despair.
17. Find a Sink- Wash your hands. Wash them again.
18. Don’t Ever Poop Again- At least that’s what you’ll tell yourself. Until you see another plate of Thai food. Then all bets are off. Did writing this really just make me crave Thai food? Okay, that’s weird and I should probably assess my life as a whole.
I hope this tutorial helps you survive the wonders of SE Asian toiletry. Sometimes you’ll luck out and find a traditional toilet and sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to have toilet paper with which to dry your butthole after the sprayer devastatingly power-washes it. As always, I’ll provide a disclaimer that these how-to posts are for humorous intent. I love SE Asia and if you’re traveling to another country, you should expect some differences in culture.