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Squat Toilets

June 13, 2011

If you are squemish about toilet facilities and that goes along with that, ignore this post. If not, then read on!

My first encounter with a squat toilet was probably on a camping trip in the woods during my uncorrupted days of pre-adolesence. At this point in my life I didn’t fully understand the significance of the squat toilet. In the world of camping our squat toilet was pretty rudimentary: a hole in the ground by a nice big tree or boulder.  No one formally dubbed our dung-hole a squat toilet. But there it is. My Introduction to how the rest of the world shits.

Fasforward to studying in Morocco, where squat toilets are the rule, not the exception. I had read about them in all my preparations for my journey there, and understood the concept. (Who wouldn’t? Hole in the floor, foot “holds” on either side of the hole, toilet paper…doesn’t take a rocket scientist). But what I couldn’t understand was how glorious using a squat toilet is. The university I was at had the usual flush toilets, but whenever we left campus for more remote areas we came across the squatters. Our very first encounter with a formal squat toilet was on a trip to Fez; my American classmates and I were a little reluctant. That is  until Sadie, who has been to nearly every country on the globe (including nations whose existence is technically up for debate) marched right on in and did her biz. Not being one to be stood up, I followed suit, and there it was: my first encounter wih a squat toilet as an ‘adult’.

Something happened with that first experience, and everytime we left campus I would secretly wait with anticipation for another squat toilet encounter. I can’t fully explain this phenomenon, but I think it’s safe to say I kinda fell in love with squat toilets. “I get to pop a squat indoors?” is mostly likely what was occuring on some level of my mind that associated the whole squatting process with camping and ergo summer. I love summer says my mind. Therefore, I love squat toilets would most likely be my mind’s next step along its path of reasoning.

Upon further reflection, squat toilets are kind of an addiction for me. There is this sort of build up, anticipation, like do I really have to poop badly enough to warrant a night-time visit to the spider-infested outhouse? After a couple minutes the answer is invariably, YES! Then there is the walk there(and those of you have ever visited a foreign country will epathize with this) where I’m not 100% sure I’ll make it in time. And then I do. And I squat. And it’s relief. On so many levels. Not only did I make it, but I’m way more comfortable doing my biz from a squat then sitting. And I didn’t fall in the hole (an irrational fear, but a thought that crosses my mind every time). And the outside air smells so much fresher after being in an outhouse! And, best of all, no reading material needed.

But for my American comrades who do need some reading material, check out some of the literature on the argument for squatting: My current Tajik squat toilet is out behind the courtyard and little field, and is permanently inhabited by spiders. I figure they eat all of the malarial mosquitoes before the mosquitoes can get me. The spiders probably just get blinded in all 8 eyes by my head lamp, which explains why they haven’t tried to eat me too. Spiders aside,  this little hippy is more than content to Squat on!

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 29, 2011 21:46

    Hahahaha! You´re ridiculous, but I appreciate it! I actually haven´t had too many encounters with the squat toilets in Nicaragua. My host family has a flush toilet and the majority of the hostals I have stayed in do as well. But I will now think of my experience differently the next time I use one!


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