Guestblog, Travel

Loo and behold! [ Guestpost ]

Image courtesy: PIXABAY

Travel can make for an exciting experience. We learn so much about ourselves and the world, and the people we meet on our way. The moments, the incidents, the people…they all make for wonderful memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Memories good and bad and outright hilarious bring a moment from history right in front of our eyes and we enjoy reliving it wholeheartedly.

I have had my own travel experiences that I  reminisce about on days when I wish I could just leave for some place, but can’t. Some really beautiful places we visited and stayed at; the picturesque surroundings we feasted our eyes on, the delicious food we relished in quaint eateries. It brings a smile to my lips and a longing for those times when hubby and had just begun our journey together.

One incident, though, that stands apart and leaves me amused each time I pass by a public washroom is one I experienced on my honeymoon, when we were travelling to a coastal region of Maharashtra – Shrivardhan – from a hill station – Mahabaleshwar.

Our bus had stopped by a village and the driver had given us a 15 minutes break to attend nature’s call, or have any refreshments. We had  been travelling for quite some time so I needed to use the washroom.

It being a village, hubby warned me about the dearth of clean washrooms. Either I had to use what I could find, or control myself for the next couple hours till we reached our destination.

I wondered aloud how a village could be deemed  under-developed if it had a school built for its children! The smirk on hubby’s face notwithstanding, I disembarked the bus, and  headed towards the school our bus had stopped by to investigate for myself.

After looking for a few minutes, I spotted a board that said, “Girls’ toilet”. Heaving a sigh of relief, I moved towards it, but was hit by the stench of urine and almost retched.

Sending up a quick prayer, I reached the doorway of the washroom only to find two little girls squatting on the floor, doing, what else? answering to nature’s call! Stunned and embarrassed, I didn’t know where to look. Shyly, I asked where the toilet was.

The girls giggled and replied, “This is the toilet! Come, join us!” and burst out guffawing!

I fled the spot, ran out of the school building and got back into the bus, much to my hubby’s amusement and my embarrassment.

I fail to remember how I controlled my bladder for the next couple hours, but, I do remember that incident each time we decide to travel by road.

It did teach me a lesson, though.  Looking for the funnier side of life rather than despairing over the misery life can be at times.

Howdy folks! This december starts with a bang on my blog as I run a unique bloghop with 28 bloggers to write guestposts for me and each other all this month. I hope my readers will catch all the action and support this drive with their comments and feedback to encourage the writing. To know more about this blog hop in detail, you could catch this post here.

About Shilpa Gupte

travel-tourism-shalzmojo-guestpost-india-toilets-loo-vacation-holidaysShilpa blogs at Metanoia which is a LifeStyle-cum-inspirational-Motivational Blog and this is what she has to say about it “Life, as we know, is constantly changing. Accepting the changes that we find difficult, changing our own perspectives,and  our way of life is something that needs a lot of courage. And, therefore, to encourage myself, cheer myself and others like me to give their best, make changes that will help in working towards newer goals we all set for ourselves, I created Metanoia.”

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42 thoughts on “Loo and behold! [ Guestpost ]

  1. OMG I totally get it. I am sure people just outside the city limits doesn’t understand the concept of toilet. It’s worst for ladies. I try not to drink when I’m traveling by a car or bus!

    1. True, Tina. But my heart goes out to those dwelling in the villages where basic sanitation facilities are so often overlooked or unplanned. The women folk must find it frustrating.. As we saw in the movie, “Toilet, ek prem katha “.

  2. Oh my goodness! I can totally identify with this and it is at once hilarious and heartbreaking isn’t it? I mean, for us obviously because we are so used to toilets but in many places open defecation is still a major concern. I am hoping that International Toilet Day and other such initiatives do their bit to make more toilets available for people everywhere.

    That aside, I did have a smile on my face while reading this, Shilpa. You can tell a story well 🙂 Build on this skill.

    Shalini, thanks for hosting one of my favourite bloggers. A lovely idea to have guest posts on your blog all through this month.

    1. I hope things improve for those in the rural areas of our country who lack such basic amenities, Shailaja.

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Shy….you do know how to raise someone’s morale!

  3. I think I can totally relate! Had a similar incident long back but just that I couldn’t control my bladder and had to stop elsewhere pretty soon! Funny

  4. Oh dear, I can only imagine how it must have been. I know it is funny in hindsight, but it must have been hell to go through. Nonetheless, you are a delightful narrator, Shilpa. I enjoyed reading this tale of woe laced with your brand of humor.

    1. It sure was hell, Shantala! And, that day I decided to be much more careful while travelling by road. Whenever you get the chance to ‘go’, just go! No bothering too much about the kind of place you find to do your business, and no complaining. There are people who have to go through worse!

      I am glad you enjoyed reading this post! 🙂

  5. I hear your sister! When, when, when will Bharat become really Swachh? Imagine the PM of the country has to come out in public and request people to use loos!! Why oh why! That said, I can imagine your chagrin at the incident! LOL!

  6. Ha ha ha.. this was funny. The ‘come join us’ is the best part. Jokes apart loos just aren’t considered a necessity in the villages. When we used to go to our mom’s village a makeshift look would be specially created for us because we were the ‘sheher ki girls’.

  7. Ohh I can totally relate to you on this Shilpa. A very similar incident happened with me during one of my road trips to Goa earlier this year. It was such a misery.

    Btw, amazing take on a travel story. Travel is certainly a mixed bag when it comes to experiences on the road.

    1. I guess it’s a universal problem faced mostly by women, or, only by women! Not just villages, but even while travelling by a highway, we are faced with such problems – lack of loos! What a pathetic situation!

  8. Loos can be such a pain while traveling. On my recent visit to Sikkim, since it is a valley there were hardly any loos and when they were available they were so dirty and unkempt. But I had no other go. During travels, one needs to be a bit accommodative when it comes to using loos. That’s the best some people have.

    1. True, Soumya. I just wish some brilliant person comes up with something for women to use while travelling. Loos are hard to find in every place. I once was travelling to Goa when I was in a similar predicament. I rushed to a loo I spotted at a petrol pump, only to find it locked from within and some labourers having a bath there…in the ladies toilet!! Ugh!!

  9. Oh I too dread using toilets while travelling via road….. Yes always for a place like Mac D or Pizza Hut etc. Not to eat but to use the washrooms.

    1. MacD, Pizza Hut etc have sure come to the rescue of people travelling by road. But, these weren’t there back then, when we were travelling. So, we had to put up with whatever we found!

  10. LOL @ Come, join us!! I can totally relate to your experience, Shilpa. Earlier, I would prefer to go through hell than use a public toilet during travel. I still do, most of the times, but there are times when one has to let go, literally and figuratively 😀

  11. I am amused yet sceptical…how long back was this? I just hope things are better now and there are proper toilets now. I understand the struggle, have been there and I have such a sensitive bladder especially during travels 🙁

  12. that was surely something that stood out in the trip. I had visited Srivardhan many years ago and is a beautiful place. On your expreience with loos, its appalling indeed and especially for women. This is the reason I dread travelling in trains or buses

  13. Aditi this happened 20 years ago. So, I hope there has been some improvement in that place by now. In fact, there are countless places that need some improvement in this particular ‘area’.

    1. Upasna, this is indeed a sad state of affairs that we face even today. Despite the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, and recognising the International Toilet Day, we still have a long way to go.

  14. Ah! I can imagine what it would have been like. I had such experience when i was travelling from bangalore to hyderabad. By them we just crossed bangalore and it was midnight. The washrooms near our halt were something i cannot even imagine now! I literally had to hold my bladder till 8 in the morning. It was hell for me, couldn’t sleep whole night. After than experience and I literally stopped drinking water two hours prior to my travel!

    1. That must have been hell, Keerthi. Holding the bladder all night, unable to use any washrooms because of the wretched state they are in – it must have been a terrible state! Wonder when it will improve.

    1. Yes, Sunita! I am sure every second person who travels by road faces this situation. There are more toilets being built these days, but the dire state we find them in, shows us we still have miles to go before we call ourselves Swachh!

  15. Wow!! That was certainly a mind boggling experience!! It just goes to show at times how privileged we are and how many things we take for granted….people in smaller villages have to struggle for even basic aspects like hygiene.

  16. This is the only thing I dread while travelling what if I don’t find a good loo. We lack basic amenities in smaller places and people refuse to focus on them too. Hoping things improve.

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