Inconvenient (public) conveniences

2000

There are downsides to being a journalist / travel writer.

Okay. I lied. It’s awesome.

Seriously. It’s pretty amazing all the time and even the ‘bad’ stuff can be ‘good’ because it’s all part of the experience.

Ying and Yang – great material to write about.

But there’s one thing that makes travelling challenging for me.

mwedxWDdyxsvyCs2CV55hyg

When they were handing out robust constitutions, I’m pretty sure I was at the back of the line. My delicate little Anglo-Saxon tummy flip-flops at the mere sight of a Jalapeno-laced burrito and shies away from chillis, curries and all the really yummy stuff you wanna try when you’re abroad.

389HM9816OR-1

I’ve had food poisoning more times than I’ve had hot dinners… or at least more times than I’ve had tepid, rubbery, plastic-wrapped airplane food.

Point in case:

  • Bangkok airport.
  • Midnight.
  • Standing in line about to pass through immigration.
  • About three people back in the line from having my passport stamped when that familiar gurgle begins ‘a-gurgling’ deep, deep down.
  • By the time I reached the surly immigration officer my face was grey and sweaty.
  • He was immediately suspicious on account that I looked … well suspicious, but I think the universe told him that now was not the time for a cavity search.

I collected my luggage and navigated customs unmolested, but it was too late; I was doubled over in agony, my face contorted in pain and shame at what lay beneath, threatening to erupt at any moment.

funny_toilet_icons_by_mr0b-d37c46t

And that’s when I saw it: A SIGN. THE SIGN. A bathroom sign in the arrivals lounge. So I ran.

In anticipation of the relief I was soon about to enjoy, I began to unbutton my pants as I darted between the weary tourists and luggage carts … only to find the bathroom was in fact a prayer room. I actually squealed as I closed the door.

And then I did the only thing a grown man can do in that situation. I sat down on the marble tiles in the departure lounge of Changi Airport surrounded by thousands of people and cried. And cried. And sobbed.

But when I wiped away the tears I found next to the prayer room was the cleanest, loveliest, most excellent western-style bathroom I’d ever seen, with endless rows of pristine and vacant stalls.

I cannot begin to convey the sense of relief.

2 responses to “Inconvenient (public) conveniences

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s