(First written 2/25/07)
Moving around from place to place, I’ve become intimately acquainted with numerous campground bathrooms. When we’re driving Clemmie to our next stop we often use public toilets. These experiences have exposed me to bathrooms of all types, and to how scads of other people approach their bathroom duties. It’s quite an education. Some people and some cultures are perfectly comfortable with the bodily functions that go on in bathrooms, while others are quite squeamish and prefer that such activities be hidden and ignored. Interesting!
Due to limited space on Clemmie we use her shower as storage space, so we must rely on campground showers. On Callipygia, we could take a bucket bath or shower on deck or in the cockpit (enjoying our nudity preferably after dark.) If we were lucky, we could dinghy ashore and use a marina shower. Of course if we were docked in a marina, we didn’t need a dinghy trip.
Bathrooms I have known range from the most primitive of pit toilets to upscale facilities matching the most luxurious of hotels. Some places we’ve been have limited water, and in some places what they have is not hot. Sewage disposal is often a problem. I have used and learned to accept:
- Toilets with no seats, no paper, no lights, no locks, no flush.
- Automatic toilets that flush when you walk into the stall and not when you leave.
- Bathrooms with automatic lights that turn on when you enter and off before you’re finished.
- Showers with nowhere to put your clothes, no hot water, no drain, no curtain, no door, no room to dress, no lip on the shower floor.
As we’ve travelled I’ve learned that bodily hygiene isn’t linked to flush toilets and a long hot daily shower. A nice luxury but neither a necessity nor an entitlemen. What we in middle class America expect in our bathrooms is just not available to much of the world’s population.