I just pooped, wiped, looked at the toilet paper in my hand and didn’t know what to do with it.
I spent the last 30 days pooping and peeing in Turkish Toilets — for the most part. In my hotel rooms there were western toilets with Turkish expectations. This is a Turkish toilet.
I’ve used them before when I traveled in Eastern Asia. The difference now, however, is that in Morocco (and probably Turkey, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been) you don’t put the toilet paper in the hole. You fold it in on itself and put it in a wastepaper basket where it sits until someone takes out the garbage. In my small village, when the garbage was taken out, it went to a larger container that sat in the bushes near cherry trees and the water source. Just because it’s out of the house doesn’t mean it’s out of your life.
I enjoy using Turkish Toilets. The squatting position is better for your system and just feels great. I love pooping in the woods because it combines the prime squat position with a beautiful view. That’s the life right there, y’all. I didn’t love pooping in Turkish toilets because the smell from the wastepaper basket, or merely the knowledge that it’s there, is distracting. I just wanted to poop in a smell free poop free environment.
My pooping in Morocco was disjointed. When Moroccans found out that I was a vegetarian they’d laugh — because they thought it was a joke– and then they’d ask if that meant I ate lamb…or chicken… or fish. Seriously. If you say in Darija, “I don’t eat meat.” You also have to explain that you don’t eat fish, chicken, turkey, or lamb. It’s quite a process. Even then, me not eating meat meant I ate a crap ton of potatoes with a few carrots. At one point I sat back and recollected on my food consumption for the day. “You know what?” I said to my co instructors. “I had a hard-boiled egg and bread for breakfast. Now I’m having a hard-boiled egg and bread for dinner. The hell is going on?” That was pretty much the extent of my food options. Bezzaf (a lot) of Khobs (bread). Granted, we convinced Mama Fatima to make us lentil soup and frites (french fries) for lunch and it was so good we asked for it every day. We didn’t always get it, but we asked. I think she felt bad preparing us the same lunch so she tried to vary it. If only she knew that I could have eaten that for 3 meals a day and been absolutely fine. The lack of vegetables in my diet led to me feeling clogged up or uncomfortable for most of my days. We often had to request watermelon (dluh-h) and cherries for the sake of taste and fiber. There were also honey dew and cantelope melon hybrids that I grew to enjoy. I hate them in the States, but hey, when 98% of the food options aren’t on your menu you’re not going to get too picky with the 2%.
My last few meals in the city were splendid. Well, one was falafel and hummus at a Syrian restaurant — that was splendid and the other was pizza — that was okay. I think my bowels valued familiarity. The food on the Air France flight was similar to Morocco, which shouldn’t surprise you because France colonized Morocco in the 17th and 18th centuries. The quality of bread and cheese on the flight was more my style than in the village. I mean come on, who doesn’t love fancy cheese and croissants? 😉 I ate the inside of a Spinach burrito from Gorditos upon my return and I’m pretty sure my stomach brain just had an aneurysm. I haven’t had veggies aside from slivers of zucchini and carrots (and potatoes) in a month. It has no idea what to do with itself.
I’m struggling a bit as my stomach struggles to right itself, but that’s okay. I’m happy to be back in Seattle and pooping in a toilet that I don’t have to share with a gajillion other people… even if it has a toilet seat.