I love rural Thailand and all it has to offer, from the laid back atmosphere to the kind smiles of it’s friendly people, everything seems to mesh. That being said there are a few aspects of rural Thailand that scare the hell out of me.
For the most part you won’t be seeing too many western toilets while in rural Thailand, sure the better hotels will have them but if you are visiting the family farm , well, you better be in a squatting frame of mind.
I’ve gotten used to the morning manual showers which consist of a bucket and a big pot of cold water. I’ve even gotten used to using the squat toilet, although if any Thai ever saw me using it they would wonder just what the hell I’m doing, after they finished laughing.
The hongnam itself is an upgrade to the basic outhouse. Four concrete walls with a slanted metal roof that is more of an open air design. A pump brings running water into a tap used to fill the various pots and trashcans. One big clay jar to shower from, a smaller clay jar to flush from and various other jars and cans for washing of clothes and other secrets I have yet to uncover.
Going to the bathroom in the village is a little more involved than waking up and stumbling in. It becomes a ritual of sorts. A process where you begin with one action and move on to the next. it’s all very easy to get used to even if the morning shower is just a wee bit colder than I normally like.
What I haven’t gotten used to is the morning audience that attends these rituals. It’s nothing to look around and find a large lizard or 3 hanging about on the walls or a large hairy spider hanging out on the ceiling. At least they make themselves known. It’s the unknown that I fear, and for good reason.
After a little thought, not like there is anything else to do while squatting, you realize that if they can get in then it’s not to much of a stretch to get a snake in the loo too. Of course that is not the proper mindset to have and not something you want to be thinking about with your ass end hanging over the porcelain pit.
Last week I realized just why I should fear the unknown. I called my girl as I usually do and when she answered we had the following conversation:
Me: Hi teelac how are you?
Teelac: Not good teelac I have problem again.
Me: What wrong Teelac?
Teelac: I live in hospital again.
Me: Why?!?!? What happened?
Teelac: I go hongnam teelac and saanake bite me.
Me: Teelac you ok? What doctor say: Big snake? Little snake? Poisonous?
Teelac: Doctor say I have to stay tonight so they can look me. Have big where snake bite me but it get small now.
Me: Where did you get bite?
Teelac: I not know how to say in englit.
Me: Your ass?
Teelac: No! not in doot.
Teelac: I get bite on hand but not hand.
Me: Ah you got bit on finger?
Teelac: Yes teelac finnnger…I think next time have bite on top ( breasts ) I need big there
She spent the night in the hospital. Not knowing what kind of snake bit her they didn’t want to take any chances and wanted to keep an eye on her. Fortunately she is fine. As for me, I think the person that came up with ” when in Rome” should be shot. From now on I’ll be well armed before using the hongnam…or I’ll be buying diapers.