The Call of the Bathroom / 27.11.12

When I was a kid my brother and I would sometimes talk about inappropriate things at the dinner table. At least, my mom thought they were inappropriate, and she would say, “That’s not table talk, that’s toilet talk; if you want to talk like that you have to excuse yourselves and go to the bathroom.” Which we would, on occasion. All that to say, if you are currently at the table, you may wish to find your way to the bathroom, because Kallie and I were also finding our way to bathroom recently with some urgency, and that’s what I’m planning to talk about.

We coasted into Muğla at 80 km on the day and Kallie saying something about how she was not going to go up another hill. Well if she wasn’t, I guess I wasn’t either, because we share a bicycle. So, we decided we’d look for a cheap hotel. The first place we were directed to was a three-star joint that looked half decent. You know, the kind of place where the bathrooms are clean and people don’t just walk bicycles through the lobby… I didn’t feel comfortable there at all. The receptionist didn’t speak English, but she smiled and pointed to the prices on the wall– 115 TL ($70) for two people. Now, for those of you who are not used to eating off the ground with bicycle grease covered hands, that might seem okay. But we were looking for something way dumpier, and more importantly, cheaper. After casting around a bit, we found a place that would give us a room, hot shower, breakfast, and Wi-Fi for 70 TL ($40). Better, but still over-budget; alas, we were surrounded by hills and it was getting dark, so camping was out. We took it.

We didn’t walk far before we found a small restaurant that served food cafeteria style ala carte. A man ushered us in grandly, and the woman spoke excellent English, so we decided to try it. The food was excellent: rice pilaf with chick pea and chicken sauce, eggplant pepper sauce, and meat ball stew, with all you can eat bread to go along. And I did. We went back to the hotel and tried to stay up past 8:30, but failed miserably.

About 5:48 a.m. I found myself wide awake. Something wasn’t quite right. Usually I have to find my way toward what passes for a bathroom in the mornings, but this was different–and the urgency was ten fold. I jumped over Kallie and rushed to the toilet, and just in time to experience a strange mixture of relief and agony. Ten minutes or so later, I did feel better, so I decided to crawl back in bed. Around 7 we both headed downstairs for WiFi use and breakfast (planning to make the most of the 7-10 breakfast hour). After 10 minutes, Kallie excused herself, saying perhaps something wasn’t sitting right with her either. When she came back, I decided to go up again. In all, we made close to a dozen significant trips to the toilet before we left the hotel that morning.

Without much careful research, we are reasonably sure that it was something in the delicious food we ate the night before–maybe too much oil, maybe too much hot pepper, or maybe something sitting out too long. Whatever it was, it was over that morning, but we both felt like we had been depleted of much of our fluids for the day, which we had. Thankfully, what looked like a very hard day ahead turned out to be more down than up hill and we were back at 100% by the time we found a beautiful Turkish lake, softened by the setting sun, and a camping spot just across the road. This was the first food reaction we’d had so far in 3 months of travel and 3500 km, so we thought we were lucky, especially since it was just a morning thing. And, as Kallie said, it amounts to “India training” — get the bowels in shape to fight bacteria!
(You can go back to the table now… thanks for reading :)


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  1. Tori Williams said on November 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I love you guys.

  2. Heidi Reffhaug Hulbak said on November 29, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    I agree, Andrew. You have been lucky so far. It was a goog thing it didn´t last very long. What a beautiful picture!
    Love from Heidi

  3. Heidi Reffhaug Hulbak said on November 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I meant GOOD!

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