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March 25th, 2011 | Asia

Bathroom Bizarre…

I have stayed in many hotels and guest houses on my travels thus far, and obviously experienced a few less than desirable ablution facilities… Wadi Halfa in northern Sudan forced me to take a handful of Immodium to prevent certain urges that I had no intention of fulfilling…!! Other places made using the open bush a far more hygienic proposition…!!

The bathroom at the Xayamoungkhoun Guest house in Savannakhet was one that I found to be worth mentioning…!!

You can wash your face and feet at the same time...

The water from the foot-bath drains directly onto the bathroom floor, making this structure superfluous...!!

The first thing I did after entering my room after my ride to Savannakhet, was to strip off my gear, and then went to splash water onto my face to rid myself of the “travel dust” accumulated there…

I padded barefoot into the bathroom and began washing my hands and face in the basin, which resulted in my feet getting wet too, as the pipe leading from the basin was not connected to the hole in the floor where water was supposed to drain out…!!

I looked to my left at what at first glance seemed to be a bath designed for dwarfs, before realizing that this was in fact a foot-bath…!!

“No need for that…” I said to myself, “You can wash hands, face and feet by just using the basin…!!”

With dripping hands and face, and wet feet, I turned to survey the rest of the bathroom…

Mould was hard at work...

The toilet was in a sad state… The plastic seat and lid had long ago given up the fight against a particularly insidious attack of mould, which had stained it beyond repair… The cistern lid was missing too… I wandered over to take a closer look and decided that despite it’s current condition, with a judicious bit of cleansing, it was still usable…

Later while having a shower, I noticed that while the shower-head was firmly fixed to the wall at a height that would be just fine for the vertically challenged, the soap holder was adjustable, and could be moved to a height that would put the soap completely out of reach…!! Surely it should have been the other way around…!!

While studying this marvel of Intelligent Design, I noticed that water was splashing off my body and onto the open switchgear that controlled the heating device…!!

I stared open mouthed at this, and then looked down to where my feet were covered in a centimetre of water… My eyes ran up the wet wall, to the equally wet and old fashioned circuit breaker mounted next to the heating unit…

I may have heard wrong, but I think I have it on good authority, that water is a rather good conductor of electricity…

I felt the hair on the back of my neck come to full attention, and with a speed that surprised even me, In one fluid movement, which would have made Billy the Whiz proud, I dropped the soap (the holder was out of reach because I had been fiddling with it earlier…!!) switched off the water, yanked open the door leading into the room, and leapt out of the bathroom…!!

Bearing in mind that I was covered in soap suds at the time, you can understand that I was in a bit of a quandary…!!

The bathrooms had clearly been installed by "Opium Addicts R Us"...!! Notice the open circuit breaker next to the shower unit, and BELOW the shower head...!! And while the soap dish can be adjusted for height, the shower head is fixed in position...!! Odd...!!

By the time I had used the spare towel to dry the switch, the wall, my feet and the floor, the soap suds had dried on my body, making me look part Albino…!! To ensure that there was absolutely no chance of having a shocking experience, I turned off the bathroom light, wedged the door open to let light from the room into the bathroom, and then stood splashing handfuls of water from the basin over myself, to get rid of the soap that coated my body…

It was a memorable bathing experience, and every time I entered the bathroom, I paused at the doorway, and checked to see if any of the electrical fittings and the floor were wet… It was like entering a room where you knew danger lurked, and made every trip there a rather speedy affair…

I am not sure if every bathroom in the guest house is in the same condition, and if they are, I would recommend that you use a pair of wellington boots, taped closed around the top, whenever you feel the urge to take a shower…!!

The chances of having a far more memorable showering experience than I had, are otherwise rather good…!!

©GBWT 2011

3 comments to Bathroom Bizarre…

  • Charmz

    Totally disgusting!!! Clearly there are no hygiene inspectors in that part of the world…..Get the hell out of there fast, before those little green monsters attack you.

  • Mark Behr

    Had all the ingredients for a “hair-raising experience”. Not a nice place to be !

  • Stop complaining and try to view the future tech. Let me explain these new functions that are ahead of our time.
    These are for you so (among washing face, hands and feet the same time) you get fully charged while having a shower.
    Remember to carry with you all things that need charging (mobile, laptop, camera etc) LOL
    PS: I forgot to mention the aerobics you need to perform while showering / charging, so its a multitasking shower. :))))

    Be careful my friend!

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