Holding It In

Living in the developing world, getting the runs is a regular occurrence. So when I woke up this morning and had to go, I didn’t think too much of it. Much better than the “not sure if I want to live or die” feeling you get when you know you’re going to throw up and can’t avoid it. So I went about my normal business, meeting a friend for breakfast, then heading into downtown Nairobi to print and laminate some product spec sheets for a grant interview I have tomorrow for Affirm Kenya. I was feeling great all the way, that is until I got off the bus and started walking around. Walking must have shifted something around because all of a sudden, my bowls started moving and talking to me in unnatural ways. I knew I had to find a bathroom soon. I dashed into a printing shop, quickly dropped off the items I wanted laminated, and asked for the closest bathroom. Unfortunately, I arrived half a step behind an Indian guy who apparently needed to use the same number I did. Finding that there was no toilet paper or water in this particular bathroom (not to mention a toilet seat), he found a plastic bottle in the trash, filled it with water and closed the door. Now by this time my situation had turned from urgent to critical. I needed to go. And since the ladies’ room seemed wide open, I pulled my own bottle out of the trash, filled it up and darted into my seatless stall, careful not to be seen by any passers-by. Relief was sweet although wiping was definitely not and I would have escaped without anyone knowing the better except I seemed to have entered the toilet right before rush hour potty break traffic. Women kept knocking on my stall (even though there were strange noises coming from it) and I would just grunt in my most feminine voice I could muster, hoping they would go away or use the other stall. No such luck. When finished, I had no choice but to fling the stall open, say an apology to the line of women waiting to use it and rush out of there as soon as I possibly could, washing my hands in the men’s side on the way out. At the moment it was embarrassing but the look on their faces when they saw me come out was worth it all.

5 thoughts on “Holding It In

  1. This just made my day. I had a friend in Mongolia who would carry an “emergency” stash of toilet paper folded into the back of his watch which he could remove quickly when needed. Hope you get better!

  2. Hahaha Now you know why women have big purses, any woman who has lived in Africa carries toilet paper around with her everywhere she goes!

  3. Pingback: 100 Posts | danieljamesmoore

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