At a state-run commie hotel in Xinjiang, my sister had a bad breakfast and needed to use the toilet.
“May I have a roll of toilet tissue?”
“We don’t have it.”
“What do you mean you don’t have it?”
“We gave it to you yesterday.”
“But I need more now!”
“We don’t have it. You had your ration.”
“What the f#@k, you want me to use the bath towel?”
The housekeeper walked off.
Taking a shit in Xinjiang is always a difficult business; becoz toilets are very hard to come by.
apprehensions before the toilet photo by eloise
And when you finally found one, you’re likely to face the above problem.
But to tell you the truth, living without toilet rolls is nothing new to my family.
My grandfather built our first family home with his own hands and he was a really fine carpenter. The attap house had sliding wooden shutters, a double-leaf front door that pivoted on upside-down liquor bottles, and it had an attic where we kids loved to play in.
Fifty yards away, between the main adobe and our vegetable farm was the pigsty and the outhouse that shared a very large open cesspool of potential organic fertilizer.
Inside the outhouse were two wooden planks where you squat on and do your business, and to the side a bucketful of flat bamboo pieces measuring about 6 inches long and half an inch wide.
Those bamboo pieces were used for scrapping ourselves clean after crapping.
It’s more or less like shaving with a straight razor, if you’re still wondering how it was done.
What you really need to know is that you need to pucker up your anus properly; otherwise the chances of getting hurt in the ass are rather high.
And if you have external haemorrhoids….., then God bless you.
And so this method of cleaning up oneself with bamboo lasted for another couple of years after the local tuck shop started selling toilet rolls and we soon learned to wrap the bamboo sticks with toilet papers.
Toilet tissues were such novelty during those days we kids went to the outhouse in unnecessary high frequency.