Friday, December 18, 2009

my business is your business

First, don’t blame me. Blame this guy, he started it.

Second, if you’re about to eat or generally belong to that strange community of people who are squeamish when it comes to crap and pee tales, kindly exit left of stage. Go read amitabh bachchan’s weirdo blog.

Now to get to the point, with great relish.

Years back, I went on my first trek to Nepal. Of course I knew nothing about trekking. And like a lot of people thought reading the Lonely Planet was enough preparation for traipsing along the kali gandaki and walking from an altitude of 827m (pokhara) to...freaking hell...hold your breath 3800m (muktinath).

Anyway, to cut a long and sorry story short, I realised trekking was a misleading word. They should call it breaking. Like I’m going to break down and cry when I have to climb 300 steps cut into the mountain. Or my knees are going to break and roll off the next time I’m skidding downhill while the raging river waits gleefully underfoot.

Or my nerves are shot and at breaking point. Or give me a break, I’ll never say I want to go climbing again.

Yeah, I think let’s go breaking to Nepal kind of sums up my trip.

But here’s the interesting bit. While you’re wandering spaced out, battling to breathe as you endlessly climb uphill, you realise that bathrooms are the last thing you care about.

Of course they don’t exist. Not just on the trail. But also in the tiny villages.

Yes, some have electricity, and music playing, and hot soup, and of course some good stuff to smoke. But bathrooms, chances are they have one bathroom for the village. And of course unless you’re in the habit of waking up really early, it’s probably lot easier, for your eyes and your nose, to just duck behind some bushes on the trail.

So one day, after a very early lunch of dal bhaat, which in itself is such a huge luxury at that altitude, we’re getting ready to set off again.

We have a large, large hill to climb through the late morning and afternoon.

Perhaps it is the sight of that hill, perhaps it is the hot dal bhaat, but I feel some movement in the lower abdomen. I tell everyone that I have to potty before we leave. Just then the other girl in our trekking party says she can feel it too, and maybe we should go together.

By now we’ve reached a stage in our relationship where we can amicably sit next to each other in the open and do potty while chatting about inconsequential stuff.

So we set out to find a bush or a rock we can duck behind. But there’s nothing. All trekking paths seem to converge here. There’s deep gorge on one side, and a steep mountain slope on the other.

In the meantime, the dal and the bhaat are sending urgent signals to every part of the body. We have to potty now.

Just then we spot an abandoned house set against the slope. We scramble up. There’s a clearing in front of the house where we can squat while the house can hide us from all the trekkers below.

Oh, what a relief. We blink back tears of delight, and sit down to do our business, and are politely discussing how Mick Jagger probably came down this same trail, when the door of the abandoned cottage flies open and a man steps out.

Turns out the abandoned cottage is not an abandoned cottage.

The man is in a rage. And can I blame him. Two women shitting on his doorstep.

He gesticulates wilding and yells away. We just look up in shock and then start laughing helplessly.

There is no turning back now. We can hardly hop our way out of this. The man after a minute of rage realises the same thing and stomps off.

We do our business quickly, and leave. Without even a thank you note.

And ya, PS: I never went back to catch up with him.

Tomorrow: the best cake in the world. how to keep a relationship going. And the most fantastic music from the early 80’s. Yeah baby.


Meghana Naidu said...

-ducking behind bushes is fun ;) especially for one who wants the off-white tiles of her bathroom t be sparkling each time before she steps in.

-two of you posting back to back
*plus* talks of heavenly cake
what is up girls!
tell all :)

-I <3 the new header

agent green glass said...

@meg: yeah, once while ducking in the bushes at night, a friend got a soft nudge on the ass from acow. came screaming outta the bushes.

posting back n forth: its about the best cake in the world! pix tom : )

glad u like the header pix. planning to change it again. check out the new one.

The Cloudcutter said...

LMAO! I can just picture the look on the dude's face man!
Shee what potty friends I have - you and Swb! Tauba Tauba!

Btw you're right about the lack of loos in the hills. The filthiest toilet I ever peed in was in Sikkim, close to the Indo-China border. I don't think it has been cleaned since the first Ching-Chong snuck across and slyly said "Ni Hao!" in the early 1950s!

Mumbai Diva said...

ok this was seriously funny inspite of some of the yucky pictures it conjured up in my head :D

Ashley said...

Gal..I haven't laughed out loud like this, while reading a blog post in...wait in a very long while now...Thank you! Oh thank you! For doing what you did!
And yes..I agree..Trekking should really just be called Breaking!

Nu said...

Hahahaah...poor that man gals !! I'm still laughing ;)

But true re..toilet problems is not only in hills but anywhere you step out and are on the travel.. Sigh..problems that countries should sit and discuss.. ;)

An hey new heard looks refreshing :)

Divya said...

I read this in the train. I snorted out loud. People gave me disapproving looks.


Roy said...

haha! awesome story! reminded me of the time I had to wipe my ass with leaves and moss in Sikkim.

Perakath said...

But... what about potty noises? No embarrassment there with the other girl?

Eveline said...

HA! HAHAHAHAHA! -- Oh the horror!! First SwB, now you!
I can't stop laughing at this. I should but I can't.

The knife said...

I guess i am too Bong and Brit for this...let's change the topic to cake, C C here I come

*Shreya* said...

ahahahhaahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahhahahahahah oh my lord hahahahahahahhahahahahahaahahhaahhahahahahahahahhahahahahahahaha oh my lord hhahahahahahhahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahhahah *pauses to say oh my lord* :P

agent green glass said...

@perakath: potty noises? what kind?

first, have you never heard of old jungle saying: breaking wind is good for breaking ice in high altitude crapping scenarios.

second: what other potty noises can there be, except for maybe if a fart escapes. ooooh, you could be talking about bad stomach potty noises.

well, those didn't happen. bad stomachs thankfully did not happen during trip. also then probably you might want to shit away from company.

i love this conversation!

Perakath said...

Evidently your potty sessions are as silent as a Rolls! In college we had common loos... I used to hold stuff in rather than embarrass myself to the unknown fellow in the next stall with my bombing noises :(

The trick is to keep water running as obfuscation!

agent green glass said...

@perakath: or cough loudly. rather they think you have TB than a bad case of potty farts.

Kaalicharan said...

So much for the potty's sake:)
funny post!

ani_aset said...

LOL typical AGG style post.. awesome :D

Anita :) said...

hahaha i laughed so hard that my throat is making a croaking noise now!!!

Jil Jil Ramamani said...

Reminds me of the piece in Maximum City. Privacy is there where you can shit in peace.

Oh and yes,

You need to draw the line somewhere after all. :P

Saltwater Blues said...

I think he was probably more freaked out by the sight of two women shitting next to each other (and chatting away while at it) than anything else! I'm sure even up there in the mountains they have what is known as toilet etiquette :)

Rahul Saha said...

I always find it a pain in the ass (no pun intended) to potty during treks. I find that a cliff or some raised platform usually helps. Otherswise carry a shovel.