Friday, June 15, 2012

Public Restrooms

The building had become even more run down since I was in town five years ago, but it was the only public washroom in the vicinity of where we were walking.  As we drew closer to the cracking walls, the smell assaulted our noses .  The door marked ‘women’ was boarded up, so we all crept towards the men’s side.  The guys offered to go first to check out the situation… which was definitely the chivalrous thing to do. 

They came out having scouted the situation and reported back, “It’s pretty nasty in there.  Many of the boards are rotting out to the point they are no longer strong enough to hold a persons weight as they balance over the hole.  People have given up even trying to use some of the stalls… so you have to watch out for piles of waste as you go, and it gets darker the further back you go.  Avoid the first three stalls, since there is no stable place to stand… try the second and third ones from the end."
Their wives looked a little shaken at the prospect, only having been in county for a week, they were still not use to the whole squatty potty concept, which, based on the primitive nature of where we were standing, increased in grossness by a factor of 100.  The ladies retied their headscarves so that their mouths and noses could be better covered from the stench that lay before them. 

Minutes later they came out gasping for fresh air and visibly shaken by the crude washroom they had just been forced to endure.  As they squirted tons of flowery smelling hand sanitizer out, in hopes of washing away the memory, a Tajik man giggled  from where he had sat watching the whole scene.  

With renewed energy we took off walking and turned the corner of the street.  There gleaming in front of us in all it's freshly built cleanliness was a brand spanking new public washroom.  No wonder the Tajik guy was laughing so hard, he had watched these young ladies struggle and chock, knowing full well that if we all took ten steps to the left, our eyes would have alighted on a much more palatable solution. 

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