I was looking back at when I started the section of this blog about Hong Kong and it was just over a year ago, so Happy Anniversary Hong Kong Blog! Then I looked at when the last time I actually posted and it was maybe a good 3 months after I started so...yeah... not exactly consistent.
But I'm back (at least for now) with a good story that will hopefully make up for my absence. Once upon a time, I took my first trip to Mainland China...
So if you know me IRL, you know that I have a bladder of steel! I never have to pee. It leaps toilets in a single bound. It's faster than a... something else, I don't know. You get the idea. Let's get real personal for a second, I pee maybe 2–3 times a day, on a good day, easy. But what you may not know is that I haaaaaaaaaate public bathrooms. I don't even use the immaculate restrooms at work that are cleaned multiple times a day.
Shout out to my daughter, Aria, for that Trolls reference. So anyway, some friends and I plan a girls trip to Mainland China to get some custom clothes made. Janaia has been going for years so she introduced us to her seamstress and gave us all the do's and don't's for crossing the border. Visa in hand, I hop off the train and head for security, but the other ladies pause to use the bathroom on the Hong Kong side.
This wasn't even a decision for me. I went before I left home. That was maybe 2 hours prior. It's maybe 1pm now. I'm good.
Fast forward, we get our shopping done and we're sitting at a table in a restaurant, chitchatting and eating our dinner. I get some ramen and a chocolate soda thing. It was okay. I should have gotten the french toast. There was an oddly wide variety of foods on this menu. 6pm strikes and it hits me, right in my steel bladder.
I take a deep breath and mention to my companions that I have to use the restroom and they begin to give me the rundown.
Armed with my wipes and my iPhone, I decisively make my way toward the bathroom. I hate all bathrooms equally so I'm prepared for a terrible experience. I'm mentally ready.
I walk into a long, orange-brown room of stalls. I may be exaggerating but I'm pretty sure the lamps were swinging from the ceiling. Normally, I check at least four stalls for reasonable cleanliness before go in to do the deed, but there was no need here. I open the middle stall door and...
I see the hole. It's in the floor. It's ceramic. And it is gaping back at me. I take a quick check of me surrounding and I see a small brown basket in the left hand corner and it is full of used toilet paper.
And it was at that moment that I realised that this was going to be the place of my death. This is where I go to die.
But I have to pee! Ugh! So I stick the wipes in my left back pocket and the phone in my right back pocket (WHY DID I BRING MY PHONE??) and I shakily unbutton the world's skinniest skinny jeans. Why on Earth did I wear skinny jeans? Who am I trying to be sexy for?? I pull down my pants and try to squat which I am utterly unaccustomed to and which my body is utterly unequipped for. I don't want to pull the jeans down too far because my death would come swiftly if my jeans touched the ground.
So while trying to maintain my sad squat, I'm trying to keep the contents of my pockets where they are and attempting not to fall over. I'm terrified of where I am and apparently so is my urine because I try to go but my stream won't start. How did I end up at this point in my life?
Sweet mercies from Heaven I finally start to pee, but for the love of God HOW DO I AIM? I'm not a man! I'm not readily built for that! So I'm peeing the world's longest pee but I can't tell if I'm hitting the hole but I don't know if I should move because what if I'm hitting the hole and then I start to miss?! And I'm wearing Toms which would offer the least amount of protection possible next to sandals.
Finally, the stream comes to an end and I manage to work the wipes out my pocket and add them to the bucket o' filth. I shimmy up my jeans and for some reason I decide to look down. The floor is dampened with wetness and soot. And my pee is still visible in the hole. When I got in the stall, the hole was empty. Why isn't the hole empty??
I look around, and there is a steel pole in front of me with a cylinder protruding just below eye level (I'm short).
I am not a very flexible woman, and I have never lifted my leg as high as I did that day. I karate kicked the flusher (thank GOD it worked) and hightailed it out of the bathroom stall. I am already dead now. I need to wash the death off of my hands.
There are three sinks in front of a long mirror in front of me. I get to the middle sink and there's NO SOAP AND NO PAPER TOWELS BECAUSE OF COURSE THERE ISN'T!
A woman is standing to my left, clearly prepared with her own soap. I stole it. Used it. And ran.
I get back to the table. My food is cold. I couldn't finish it anyway. I am dead. The dead no longer need food.
The girls compare stories of countries they have visited that have similar toilet setups and I listen intently so I can know exactly which countries I will NEVER visit ever in my life ever. I think I drank a little hand sanitizer. #worthit