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Sunny2's avatar

What's the worst toilet "situation" you've found in traveling?

Asked by Sunny2 (18691 points ) October 21st, 2011

We get used to indoor plumbing with flushing water and all, but that’s not the way it is everywhere in the world. I’ve met some doozies. Have you?

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26 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

On a trip to China, one lady in our group had the job of being the first to use an untried (by us) ladies room. We had 5 things we looked for: cleanliness, toilet paper of some kind, soap, hot water, something to dry hands on. When she came out she’d indicate with her fingers how many of the amenities there were in that particular washroom. A high 5 was a rare joy. We were visiting a hospital and after a long meeting, with tea, we were all in line. She came out with a big high 5 and we all grinned happily. Seeing our long line, a very sweet nurse beckoned to the last 4 or 5 of us to follow her. We did. And she led us downstairs to “toilets” were just a hole in the ground. A no finger place. What a disappointment. She was just being nice so we wouldn’t have to wait so long.

talljasperman's avatar

A smelly aged rotten wood outhouse with spiders dangling in front of my head with no toilet paper and a broken door that was overflowing with waste.

jonsblond's avatar

I haven’t traveled the world, but I was at a nude beach once with a terrible hangover. I had a sudden case of the shits and had to go in a cove to relieve myself. I buried the mess in the sand, then jumped into the ocean with hopes to get clean. :/

Yanaba's avatar

On an incredibly rusty, nasty and leaking old clunker of a steamboat in the Essequibo River in Guyana in South America. (Man, the ferry in that photo is wayyy cleaner than I remember, and FYI between those posts at the bottom go hundreds of sh!tting cows, invariably with cow sh!t impacted into one or both nostrils.) There was a toilet, but there was no door to the toilet niche, and the toilet was situated on top of this enormous hill of rusted grime and red-weeping metal, and the lip of the toilet itself was higher than my head. No seat, hahahaha the furthest thing from it, just jagged metal edges. No sink, paper, nothing at all, the room was like a meat locker. The whole thing was like a steaming, reeking, fly and malaria-mosquito-egg-infested cesspole toilet of rotting liquefying iron, two feet from a dripping rust-stalactited ceiling in a dim niche off the main ship corridor, the lowing of hundreds of cows and stink of manure all around you, and you couldn’t even tell it was a toilet. It looked (and smelled!) like the top of the warpzone to the deepest ring of Hell.

Symbeline's avatar

Well, my mom and her boyfriend often went camping and took me along. I loved it, but we went to some pretty wild areas, where the best you get is an outhouse. A serious for real outhouse, (bring your own asswipe, too) where you sit on the pot and let it leak or fall into some nasty pit a few small feet below.
It reeked of seven Hells, but really it wasn’t all that bad. When I was little I liked bugs a lot, and there are all kinds in outhouses lol.

Although a few years ago, I went camping with some friends. Camping in some place up North in Qu├ębec, where they just have lakes and trees. It was a hunting/fishing resort with cabins for hunters, but they let us pick an island on the lake and camp up there. (all staff did was come by once a night to monitor our campfire) I was there for a week. We camped on this island, and at one point I really had to go for a number two. I walked away from our site, so I could do this in peace. But there was some boat that wouldn’t stop shadowing me. Going by really slowly, keeping up with my pace. It said King Fisher on it. Three people on it. I didn’t want them to see me take a dump.

Our original plan was to camp in the woods, but it was much too steep and the trees to close to one another. We camped on the beach.

But cuz of that stalking boat, I eventually went into the woods. This was getting urgent lol.
Anyways it was a nasty experience, and I was raided by mosquitoes and possibly, some bear. And because the ground up there was so fucking mountain like, you basically had to mountain climb that bitch, so when I did my stuff, it was quite some ordeal. I’m not gonna go into details, I’m sure you don’t need them. But that’s my stupid story lol.

I know, these examples have nothing much to do with traveling, but it’s pretty much all I got. Camping is kinda like traveling lol.

Ron_C's avatar

Tun Sen Ut (sp) Airport in Vietnam. The toilets were all full to overflowing with shit.

Symbeline's avatar

@Ron_C Dude, gross. I ain’t traveling over there lol.

Ron_C's avatar

@Symbeline I suspect it’s been cleaned up by now.

lillycoyote's avatar

I took a train from Naples to Rome. The toilets on the train were nasty. That’s about the worst.

KateTheGreat's avatar

I cant believe I’m saying this, but I was once very drunk an used my cat’s litter box.

I’ve had to pee in holes before when I was Ethiopia, not too awful as long as you have paper.

Ron_C's avatar

Ha Ha Ha!!!

@KateTheGreat how did the cat feel about that? Mine would take revenge and pee in my shoe.

Luiveton's avatar

Areas with no toilets. Deserts

fizzbanger's avatar

It wasn’t that bad or anything, just dirty and awkward, but I experienced my first “squatty potty” (hole-in-the-ground-style toilet) in Ukraine and almost fell in/peed all over my jeans. Do people take their pants off to take a dump? They must have diesel legs. I don’t understand these things.

Seek's avatar

I’m pretty open to “alternative toilets”.

My worst potty-related situation was at the beginning of a 22 hour drive from Florida to Ohio, with my parents and my two siblings.

Now, this simple fact would be enough to qualify as one of the top ten worst situations of my life, but then, my brother shat in the car. Not a little bit, he fucking exploded.

On the seat, the walls, the floor… somehow managed to get it on the ceiling.

We had been driving for 15 minutes so far.

How old was he, you ask? Fourteen.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Maybe the worst was a un air-conditioned public (free) “bathroom” of about a dozen stalls in an near-equatorial country in some dusty, over crowded town whose name I never knew. After having to queue for about 20 minutes to get in I found each toilet was essentially just a hole leading directly to a common pit underneath it. That in and of itself wasn’t so bad or unexpected what made it unbearable was the fact that it appeared to have been in operation since the mid 70’s, last cleaned sometime in the late 80’s, and each stall had carpet of used TP extending from a trash can overflowing with the same – just think about how bad that is then remind yourself of why bathrooms don’t have “carpet” to begin with. Between that, the flies, mosquitoes, and spiders I decided I’d just hold it.

Oh, another one was a place we were staying at where the toilet was in a space so small I had to step in sideways, duck, and one leg or another was always touching a wall when square to the toilet. And I’m not that big.

@Ron_C that’s not the one in Ho Chi Minh is it? I was there a couple years ago it was actually pretty nice, granted it was their new terminal so maybe they cleaned up their, act so to speak.

filmfann's avatar

I took a boat ride down the Li River in China. This boat held about 100 people, at least.
When I went to find the bathroom, I found a small room with a hole in the floor. Looking into the hole, I saw the Li River. No toilet paper, sink, or anything civilized. Not even sea shells.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Any of a number of my military deployments. The worst was the one where we did our business at the back of the next to last vehicle in the convoy, on the edge of the road. It was too unsafe to go behind a tree, so you were basically out in front of God and everyone.

Blueroses's avatar

It was in Mexico, riding a bus south down the baja peninsula. Not a luxurious tourist bus, mind you, but the local line’s converted Bluebird school bus with the original hard bench seats. The immersion experience was complete with goats, chickens and other assorted loose livestock in the aisle. It was colorful.

After about 3 hours non-stop, I needed a bathroom and lurched to the curtained off corner in the back of the bus. There, I had to hand over a few pesos to the entrepreneurial soul sitting guard there in exchange for access and 2 squares of toilet paper. Behind the curtain was a hole in the floor of the bus. That’s it. You were supposed to balance yourself and shit on the road.

I decided I could hold it. but I didn’t get a refund AND the monitor wanted the TP back since I didn’t use it :)

YARNLADY's avatar

My story has already been described by @talljasperman . I spent the night at a remote, walk in only, camping spot in a National Forest, and the outhouse left a lot to be desired.

Judi's avatar

The squatty potty in Greece was pretty gross. It inspired me to loose 80 lbs. Not easy to squat over a porcelain hole in the ground when you’re 80 lbs over weight.
When I was a little girl I accidental dropped my favorite swimsuit bottoms in an outhouse. :-( I cried and cried.

Sunny2's avatar

Traveling on a motor scooter and camping in Greece, we were served eggs swimming in olive oil. I had no choice but to use the facilities. This was a small, square, white washed building situated on a small hill. The roadway curved around right in front of the building. The building had a door way, but no door and faced the road. It was a hole in the ground with nothing else. There wasn’t a lot of traffic on the road, but , as I said, I had no choice. Forget privacy and modesty. You do what you have to do.

zensky's avatar

I avoid scatological questions like the plague.

Sunny2's avatar

@zensky A little scatology in ones life can be a hoot. Speaking of which, who can tell owl scat from eagle scat? Or do birds produce scat? Maybe it’s just mammals.
I apologize for offending your delicate sense of propriety. Ha!

zensky's avatar

Obviously it was ironic, as I replied in this thread that I avoid these questions.

Lurve ya.

Symbeline's avatar

The proper reply would have been; well…shit.

fxbersch's avatar

My first time to France I used the public restroom and there was only a hole in the floor. I was like,“how to I take a dump without it plopping down inside my pants? I mean do I take my pants and underwear completely off and then poop?”

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