Tips

Water, Water Everywhere… But is it safe to drink?

Water, Water Everywhere… But is it safe to drink?

The short answer in the developing world is… No!!! You’ve heard the warnings — don’t drink the tap water, don’t order ice in your drinks and don’t eat any salad or fruit that may have been washed in said water. It’s all very much true. But did you also know that the rule of thumb … Continued

The Bag Lady… Taking the ‘Lug’ Out of Luggage

The Bag Lady… Taking the ‘Lug’ Out of Luggage

Normally, I’m not impressed by fancy schmancy brands, and statement bags adorned with gold Roman numerals will just get you robbed in most third world countries. However, when it comes to quality travel bags, I’ve found that you get what you pay for. So I am going to name drop like Fifty Cent right now … Continued

How Do You… Doo?

How Do You… Doo?

Let’s talk toilets! No, really. We in the developed world have it made with our private stalls and ensuite boudoirs, our thrones of porcelain and bidets of gold. One ply? Blasphemy. Only the finest double and triple ply cotton will do.

But in the rest of world — outside the sanitized comfort of airports in (really) big cities — it is squatter all the way baby.

“What is a squatter?” you ask?

Oh, my dear gal (or guy). YOU are in for a surprise.

squatter-toilets

A squatter, as these lovely images from my travels around the globe indicate, is a hole in the ground, about 6 inches in diameter and… well… that’s it. No flush, no thrown, no nuthin’. The real problem with them, besides the mind numbing stench, is that you truly do have to squat. I don’t know how many of you have tried to hover over a tiny hole and aim while wearing a belly bag, backpack, umbrella, extra jacket and underwear, but let me tell you, it is a feat of strength and endurance worthy of Olympic sport.

I’ve noticed recently that some of the nicer restaurants in good size cities have tried to accommodate our western sensibilities. Yep, they have installed porcelain toilets… out in the open, next to the sink.

So practice my friends.  ‘Cause the last thing you want to do is to fall butt first into the doo.

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