The other day I was asked what my most embarrassing moment was, instantly my mind raced down the main highway of my brain to a time when nothing in this world could match the colour flooding my cheeks as I faced a wee Thai man who quite possibly saw, what no man has seen before. I have been itching to share this story with you, for no other reason than to expose the ugliness of my situation at the time, for your entertainment.
It was a normal Tuesday in the sweltering hot streets of Bangkok, as my friends and I squished into a tiny box also known as the Tourism Office on Koh San Road, trying to book our transport down to the Islands, located in the South of Thailand. With only a few hours to spare, we rushed through the planning process and left the shoebox with a rather big hole in our wallets and very little information on the details of our transportation.
Having purchased some street food for dinner as well as some culturally diverse road trip snacks, also known as pringles and peanuts, we bustled our way through the crowds towards the bus station, also known as the side of the road. Standing by with forty other strangers, clinging to our luggage as the sun crept behind us, the small talk of broken English dwindling once names and homelands were exchanged, the silence around us grew.
Arriving just on time, Thai time, four florescent, flashing busses pulled up next to the side walk, as the tourists stood in complete awe of the masterpieces before them. Waiting hesitantly for the buses to chink, clink and clang into a transformer right before our eyes, the excitement dwindled as the waiting began once again, this time to board these extravagant models of transportation. I, however, relishing in the moment where for a split second I was Megan Fox.
Two hours into the journey, aboard the ‘beast’ convoy, having only just left the centre of Bangkok, which by my observation should only have been a thirty minute journey, we stopped for a pit stop. Yes, for what would be an eleven hour journey, the lovely bus drivers decided two hours in, was a reasonable time to pit stop, of course between the other 9 hours, there was no need.
Eager to explore and regroup, having already grown thin in snack supplies, now was also the time to face the unique toilet system of Thailand. Standing in line, hand sanitiser in one hand, toilet paper in the other, Ruby and I were ready, with a confident “come at us holes in the ground” attitude as we entered the stools. Only to turn around and walk right back out of the ‘bathrooms’, gaging, giggling and finally staring at one another in horror.
Unfortunately, and all my ladies can back me up here, once you have ‘prepped’ yourself to pee, there is no turning back. With the five minute call ringing amongst the crowd, we clambered up the stairs of the bus only to come face to face with the bus toilet cubicle, while at the same time, hitting the concussing wall of smell that is beyond description.
Being the brave and rather heroic person I am, standing for justice and the ending of world poverty, I entered the putrid smelling cubicle. Undies down and squat on lock, I was ready, calming myself self down and ensuring my , handmade filter system (t-shirt over nose) remained in place.
Then it happened…
Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No, it was the whole right panel, also known as the wall, being removed before my eyes. No bloody way, someone on the outside of the bus, had just unlatched the panel to the toilet cubicle for some unknown reason to both God and man. Frozen in a squat position, unable to comprehend the happenings around me, I sat, mid-air and exposed, staring at a little thai man who looked just as frightened and confused as I was. I would like to say we saw eye to eye, but his view was infiltrated with my bare ass, so instead our perspectives of the situation would share very different stories.
With a few seconds left to linger the panel was replaced back to its rightful position and I was left to ‘finish my business in peace’. With a quick shake and a great stumble out of the door, I fell into the arms of my friend in big bursts of laughter and tears, unable to put into words what had just occurred. With many heaving breaths, and stuttering words, I was able to finally retell the story of my misfortune, only to be received with fits of laughter and assurance that the end of the world was not upon us.
I am quite sure my life has never been the same since this moment, and I still to this day am unable to enter any sort of public transportation toilet, and probably never will. But here it is, my most embarrassing moment to this day, but no doubt I will have another to share in the not too distant future…