December 10th, 2008 – by: toddster184
To Squat or Not To Squat
I never would have believed it until I saw it with my very own eyes. A step above from a simple hole in the ground, these stand-and-deliver style facilities are dime a dozen in Dubai
(at least one city in the Middle East that I can speak for). I found this one near the Gold Souk next to the bus station beside a food vendor. There were six cubicles. The other three were occupied, the first toilet I walked into was flooded (not with water as the usual case may be...will explain later...and it was rancid). I quickly got out and opened the next one. This one was full too but with something else. So quickly got out, being very careful as to not slip on the liquid drenched tiled floor, and made it to the one your see above. My only saving grace was I did not need to squat...if you get my drift. First, I didn't need to do that number, and second, I was wearing jeans not a dishdasha (the traditional long shirt Arab men wear). I quickly unzipped and make...all the while counting how long I can hold my breath (where is the dang ghutra when I need one)...but also determined not to leave the area without a photo. I carefully dashed outside skipping the usual washing of hands. Thank goodness for the airline's lemmon scented wash-and-dash towellettes I had in my bag, I can somehow make it out of here with 30% less germs.
So let's examine the scene shall we? If you look closely, you wonder...how does one make it out of here after dropping some in the pool or in this case - the black hole? I don't see any westerner-style wipe-with-ply do you? But you clearly see a hose? When I first arrived in Dubai, I noticed similar contraptions at the airport loo, in my hotel room, and at the office. I quickly realized what it was for and laughed inside a little. How clean I thought. How human I thought - compared to the western-style wipe-with-ply like animals rubbing it off the grass or a tree. But soon, a sense of logic comes to mind: a wet floor means bad aim to a westerner...but clearly around here, the hose has been used. You can't help but wonder what god-awful liquid is puddled around you. Thank goodness I was wearing running shoes...but what of the majority of local men who wear sandals? I wouldn't even think of what the female toilet looks like at this point. I'll leave it with you to ponder. I wonder what would happen if one had to go while in the desert? I suppose you dig a hole and cover it with the sand.