We have arrived in Thailand and I know that my readers have long been dreaming of living vicariously through my tales of ocean breezes, exotic tropical beverages and pictures of 8000 golden Buddhas. I can already tell stories on all of these themes, and perhaps I will get to them in time, but this post is about toilets. Don't turn away just yet -- for it is also about the secret to thinner thighs in 90 days.
In Thailand peeing is the not the sport that it is back in the USA. There are no padded toilet seat covers, no triple-ply Quilted Northern, no organic orange oil air freshener. Unless you are in some Western friendly tourist locale, toilets are located on the floor. They are more than a hole in ground and yet much much less then a thrown. One is not to sit but to squat and hoover like you never have in even the most dingy AM/PM restroom. This is a deep hover requiring one to engage their quads and pray they don't land keister in the drain. The position harkens me back to my 4-H days when lamb showmanship required one to crouch precariously to the side of her sheep holding the beast with only one hand under the neck while desperately trying to keep the ridiculous white shirt uniform free of animal feces.
Not wanting to seem like a fancy ass American I have spent my days squatting with the best of them sometimes even when taller western toilets are available and I expect to return to NYC with Keri Strug-like rock hard quads.
The Thais are also not fans of toilet paper. They often keep it around but their real ass cleaning method of choice is the spray. Hanging next to each and every toilet is a long hose capped with the type of spray gun device reserved in The States for removing baked on cheese from casserole dishes without having to touch the greasy mess and ruin your manicure.. Signs in bathrooms all over Bangkok urge you to try the spray in a tone that implies that all of South East Asia disgusted by our dirty bits-- toilet paper can only wipe away so much. Cleanliness aside I can see the appeal of the spray -- out of respect for "Snow-pocolypse 2: Frosty's Revenge" which most of my readers are cowering under as I write I won't taunt you with the details but it is fucking hot here ("Sun-pocolpse: The Wrath of Helios") -- but I assure you a splash of water on the nether regions could not sound more appealing. However, as in almost all foreign countries, the sewage system in Thailand is apparently incapable of handling more then a square or two of toilet paper at a time. Signage is constantly screaming at you to conserve least the plumbing explode. Having a healthy fear of backed up toilets I try to follow these direction but it's difficult when you're squatting dripping wet over a hole in the ground. I have to assume that all of Thailand is walking around in 90% humidity with soaking wet undercarriages and, while I want to blend, want to avoid the eye rolling and giggles that must greet those white girls who seek out only the most comfortable perch to poop on I also want quads of steal and to avoid wet patches on my shorts that must certainly leave my hosts convinced that incontinence is hitting at an ever earlier age through out America.
A dilemma for the ages which I will soon be pondering from a beach front bungalow while sipping a tropical slushy (make that "slowly sipping" there's no need to rush the next trip to the Squat Center 3000.).