Tuesday, 19 November 2013

World Toilet Day 2013: Hurrah for Toilets, Even Crap Ones!

Dear friends, it is World Toilet Day again! Last year we marvelled at Australian water-improving technology, the year before that we contemplated the dire consequences of not having somewhere safe to do one's business, and the year before that, we partied hard and sent a greeting to somebody called Declan. We have also, over the years, highlighted the good work done by charities like Toilet Twinning and Oxfam, to bring safe water and sanitation to people who lack such basics (that would be 40 % of the world's population according to Water Aid).

This year's theme is "Appreciating your toilet". Even if you have to share it with people who never change the toilet roll, even if the flush handle is really, really stupid and nearly impossible to pull without breaking your wrist, even if there is no mixer tap for washing your hands! If you have a toilet, count yourself lucky!

To help illustrate this theme, let's look at this stupendously lovely letter we received from Norwegian Friend:
Dear [Privy Counsellor],
I hope you are well.
I thought I would tell you about one on my bog experiences from when I was in Thailand this spring.
I am sure that [Semi-Intellectual Friend]* must have sent you some photos from strange loos around the place, but I don’t think he told you about the bathrooms we had in Koh Tao. Koh Tao is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The island is in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand, he sea is cyan blue, massive boulders of black volcanic rock stand out against the white sandy beaches along the coast and the sunsets are amazing. On this little paradisal island there is a little resort called Saithong Resort. Their promotion picture is this:

This is a totally accurate photo of the beach and the bungalows they rent out, however this is what they don’t show you:

This is the bathroom of my little bungalow in Koh Tao. It has clearly never been washed…ever! 

Luckily I had brought along loads of disinfectant wipes which I used frequently. Disinfectant wipes did not keep away the ants and geckoes though.

The sink fell down one morning when I was brushing my teeth and during the day there was no cold water. There was no soap or towels provided and people could hear and possibly see me when I was showering.

Although the bungalows were pretty shit (mainly because everything was broken) the place was fantastic, and here is a picture taken from my window to show you why:

And so, dear friends, let us conclude that having a toilet at all is, in the greater scheme of things, a massive stroke of good fortune, for which we should be thanking our lucky stars. Appreciate your toilet!

Let us take a moment to remember John Snow (yes, that really was his name).

Finally, let's have a festive Toilet Song!

*Funnily enough we actually haven't heard a single toilet-related peep from Semi-Intellectual Friend. No doubt he has many other important things on his semi-intellectual mind.

Related Reading
Seriously Brilliant Christmas Gift Ideas from Oxfam: The Privy Counsel Helpfully Sort Out Christmas

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