Squat Toilets Are Not Meant For Women Over 30!

At my age I thought I’d seen it all. But, after living in Thailand for a year I gave thanks to my mother for seeing that I was potty-trained in the good ole’ U.S. of A.

A few days after arriving in Bangkok, I was shopping at Robinson’s Department Store. I’d been having some bladder problems, and as many 50-something women find, their lower internal organs begin to drop, droop, sag, bag and demand attention; and we don’t ignore it when we feel the familiar sign of wet knickers.

I spotted the unisex sign for “Toilet.” I’d heard rumors about squat toilets; thankfully my hotel was kind enough to offer sparkly white Western sit-down toilets. Dare I try this? Logic told me to head back to my hotel, but I had to weigh the time it would take in a tuk-tuk (picture a motorcycle with a bucket seat in the back, held in place by a tin cover), and I didn’t think my bladder would appreciate it. I chose the squat toilet. I mean, how bad could it be? This was Robinson’s, an international upscale chain.

I peeked inside. I wanted to turn and flee. I gagged. Think Kansas City Stock Yard meets Los Angeles County Landfill. I held my breath until I felt faint. I thought about trying to breathe through my mouth but decided it might be better to smell than to taste. I had to do this. There was no backing out now. I gave my kegel muscles a huge clench and duck-waddled inside.

There it lay, the ubiquitous Eastern squat toilet, waiting for the next feeble foreigner. It was a hole cut in the tile floor, with porcelain inside the hole and a thin porcelain ledge around the top to stand on. The sides were dappled with droplets of doo-doo in various shades of black, brown and ecru.

For my American sisters who have never traveled to a foreign country that offers these contortion contraptions, let my story serve as a high-level travel alert.

I studied this enigma and tried to decide on the best point of entry. I stepped up closer to the beast. Wait! How is a woman supposed to squat on this thing? If you’re wearing long pants they need to be pulled down, along with your undies. To where do you pull them? If you pull them down just a little, you’ll pee on them. So, you must get into a kind of stooping position, then pull them down just past your butt cheeks and squat. While squatting, you have to pull them down a little more and tuck them under your knees. You also need to hike them up far enough so the bottoms don’t touch the filthy floor. Then you squat-walk towards the hole.

But what if you have on a full skirt or muumuu? You have to pull the front of the skirt up and wad it under your chin, then grab the back of the skirt and wrap it around your waist and try to make a cute little square knot to hold everything in place. And while you’re trying to maneuver yourself into position you have no idea where your feet are with all the clothes piled up around your torso.

You scan the room for a toilet paper. Nada! You panic! But wait, over in the corner you spot a spigot with a hose and pail ready and waiting for the nice little butt lavage. This is Asia, girlfriend. Forget about using paper to pat your tu-tu dry. Water is the cleanser of choice.

It’s now time to conquer your fears — and damp drawers. You’re going to need an Olympic score of ten on your mount, and hope your feet hit the indents and not the hole. The porcelain is wet. The floor is wet. There is no paper. You start to pray. You hike up your skirt, wrap it around yourself, drop your drawers and tuck them behind your knees, and make the jump.

You made it! Now you’re on and in the squatting position. You wonder if you can keep your balance long enough to empty your bladder. It freezes. It’s not going to cooperate. It trickles out one drop at a time, punishing you. Your back hurts, your thighs are screaming and your hamstrings are losing ground. Your purse handles are between your teeth as you try to dig out a piece of tissue with one hand while the other is flailing overhead for balance. One wrong move and you could do a pratfall onto the filthy, wet floor, or, the unthinkable — the hole.

Your bladder quits pouting and finally empties; it’s now time to dismount. But how? You realize you have to get up, and you must do it before the store closes. There’s nothing to hang on to. Both arms are now flailing about, your teeth are losing their grip on your purse handles, and your clothes are tucked into your wrinkles. You must prepare for your dismount before you fall face forward or ass backwards. You know you’ll have no help from your burning thigh muscles. You give a giant heave and fling yourself up and out of the crouched position.

Yes! You made it! I’m sure everyone in the store knew I’d successfully landed my dismount when they heard me yell, “Thank you, Buddha!”

Ultimately, I suppose that the squat toilet is a great idea when it comes to the process of elimination. That is if you’re in your 20s and practice yoga every day. I missed these criteria by about thirty years. Suffice it to say I wouldn’t want to be caught with my knickers around my ankles with a Candid Camera crew hovering in the wings.

(Reprinted with permission from A Broad Abroad in Thailand by Dodie Cross).

Dodie Cross is a freelance writer who has received numerous awards for her writing and poetry. Dodie has traveled the world, writing about her life in foreign countries. Learn more at: A Broad Abroad
Planning Cosmetic Surgery? Begin With These Tips
Cosmetic surgery is something that is desired by both genders, from all walks of life. However, before you decide to have it done, there are some things you should know. In the article to follow, you will be provided with the best cosmetic surgery tips. You'll know what you are getting in to.
Do not get cosmetic surgery from a surgeon whom you have not checked out. You want to make sure that your surgery goes well, and that the surgeon who is conducting the surgery on you is trustworthy. You can ask previous patients to figure out if the doctor is reliable or not.
Go to the Department of Health of your state to get more information about your plastic surgeon. You will get more information about his or her education and find out if he or she is properly licensed. Stay away from any surgeon without a license or a legitimate college degree.
Make sure that your surgeon has malpractice insurance for your financial safety. This can have a huge impact on you if your procedure develops complications; a proper insurance policy will protect you from unfair out-of-pocket expenses. Don't visit surgeons who aren't insured well; their policy could be expensive due to past mistakes.
Of course, you are willing to pay enough to get high quality surgical results, but you can still save some of the cost without giving up the quality. The surgeons overseas often charge much less than those in the United States, and many of them are very reputable. While this option may not always be applicable, it is something you may wish to think about.
In addition to checking up on your surgeon, you also want to check out the clinic, or hospital where the surgery will be performed. Oftentimes this location will be unrelated to your practitioner. You will want to see if it maintains the standards that you demand.
Ask about different options for the anesthesia. For major interventions, a general anesthesia is best, but you should know about the risks involved. You have the right to ask for a general or a local anesthesia but do more research so you can make an educated decision. Ask your surgeon to have a qualified nurse assists him or her for the anesthesia if necessary.
Remember that cosmetic surgery is indeed surgery. You are going to need recovery time when your surgery is completed. Follow your surgeon's recovery protocol exactly. This will help you feel better sooner. It will prevent infection, and further complications. Listen to your doctor's recommendations, and you will be fine.
For any cosmetic surgery, make sure that you choose a reputable cosmetic surgeon, who has the experience to do your procedure. A great surgeon will take the time to sit down with you, and help you understand the risks involved prior to having the surgery. They will also be willing to show their credentials, and any other information that you ask for.
Think about paying for your procedure in cash. Surgeons are often stuck with large provider fees resulting from third-party financing; as a result, you pay more. Talk with your doctor about any savings that may result from you choosing this method of payment. There are also websites available, that can show you your options based on which doctor you choose.
One important thing to do when considering cosmetic surgery is, to make sure that you check around, and compare potential surgeons. You will find that it well worth your while, to make sure that you find one that will let you know of potential risks, and also one that you feel the most comfortable with.
Take the time to save up some money if you need to. You should never settle for a cheaper alternative if this solution is riskier or if the surgeon is not properly qualified. If you want a surgery, pay the full price and look for quality rather than savings.
Before getting any kind of cosmetic surgery, you should read up on it as much as possible. This includes talking to your professional, friends, reading articles, books and journals, and even looking at procedures online. The basic idea is to become a type of expert before, you even think about going under the knife.
Be sure to get plenty of sleep after your cosmetic procedure. Just like when you are sick, the best antidote to the post-surgery pain you may have is to sleep. Have someone else in your household take over whatever duties you may have so you can properly rest. Turn off your phone, and shut off the lights!
As was mentioned at the beginning of this article, many people from all backgrounds get cosmetic surgery. It is important that you know certain things about these procedures before, getting them done. Now that you have read the article above, your cosmetic surgery procedure should go as smoothly as possible.