Some of you know me well, and others not so much...for those not so muchers, be prepared:
I am about to talk about POOP!
Is it news worthy that I just pooped at one of those squatty places? maybe not for you, but for
this western toilet loving traveler, it most certainly is. The squatty hole in the ground receptors
look a bit like a bedpan with moon boot prints on either side...all level with the ground. This feat
is monumental for me, as I managed last year, to only use the one on the train...and it makes me
chuckle just thinking about it. You gotta take one leg of your pants off, and swish them around to the other side, hold them on one hand, squat full on, balance, aim, and then release whatever inhibitions you may have about squat pooping, do your business, keep balanced, and not focus too much on the train tracks, which you can see through the hole into which you are depositing, figure out whether or not you're done when you think you are, and then balance, still holding your pant leg, reach for your bag, and pray to Vishnu you remembered something soft to wipe with.
In the event you did not bring something soft, or you left your bag at your place on the train, far outside the clumsily latched door, there is a cuppy thing, about the size of the melted measuring cup I got from my grandmother's cooking stuff, (maybe 3 cups or so) that you fill with extremely non-potable water, and trickle down your backside, as sort of a hand held bidet. (then you get to hang out there longer (literally) and air dry) depending on your constitution, your thighs burn and you almost never come out of it wishing you had one of these at home...
With all that said, poop talk is very common in SGLA India. The bacteria here, the participants' stomachs, and an average of 5 chais a day, are all factors in the output. Are they pooping? what's the consitancy? is an infection forming? how long since their last poop? 3-4 packs of Emergen-C, every 3 hours until something happens. Sometimes after an event or lack there of, their electrolytes are so jacked up that they cannot drink enough water to hydrate their cells...there's stuff for that, too.
I would be willing to bet that none of you thought the first blog entry from the trip would be about poop...HAHA!